South Melbourne put three past Chinese Super League opponents Guangzhou R&F F.C. last night at Lakeside Stadium.
In a unique opportunity for the NPL Victoria side, it took only ten minutes for Milos Lujic to draw blood against Guangzhou.
Iqi Jawadi continued his impressive pre-season form, winning the ball in the middle of the park and releasing Nick Epifano. The midfielder did well to draw the attention of oncoming defenders, finding Jawadi again who set up Lujic for the opener.
A familiar combination would rekindle between Lujic and Andy Brennan, with South fans excited to see the pair linking in a similar fashion as they did only a few seasons ago.
Brennan continued to be involved in the play, and was the catalyst behind the second goal of the evening.
After the eventual goalscorer, Kristian Konstantinidis, disrupted a Guangzhou attack, the defender would stay upfield as Matthew Millar broke forward. His pass out to the right wing found Brennan, who’s cross found the head of Konstantinidis for a well-worked second goal ten minutes before the break.
The game was put to bed with Brennan himself getting amongst the goals, with Millar finding the striker beating the offside trap just after the hour mark. A confident finish a sign of big things to come in his second stint at the club.
Nick Epifano would again cause chaos amongst the Guangzhou defenders moments after, as he looked to set up Brennan for a second, in an attempt that was well foiled by the goalkeeper.
A final flurry of chances would fall to the visitors, however Alastair Bray stood strong to maintain a clean sheet.
Head coach Sasa Kolman was impressed with his sides performance on the night, but was quick to play down the occasion as he spoke to SMFC TV post-match.
“It’s only a pre-season game. We had certain tasks today. The boys executed them perfectly, I’m really proud of them,” Kolman explained.
In his first interview, he expressed his delight with being named the new head coach after his first full week in the position.
“How am I feeling? Very simple. This is the club I love… I’m privileged and honoured to be at the helm of this club.”