South Melbourne kicked off their season with a strong performance, despite an early setback when a goal was controversially disallowed despite protests from South players that the ball had crossed the line. Nonetheless, they quickly bounced back as Sawyer capitalised on a loose ball from a Mikkola throw-in, giving South Melbourne a 1-0 lead over the Knights.
The match saw the starting debut of several new faces including Nahuel Bonada, Mario Barcia, Jordon Lampard, and Ross Archibald, with Harrison Sawyer leading the team as captain for the first time since his return to the club.
South Melbourne dominated the first half, creating numerous scoring opportunities and heading into halftime with a deserved 1-0 lead.
The second half proved to be a tighter affair, with both teams testing each other’s defences. Javi Lopez and Chris Oldfield, the respective goalkeepers, were called into action multiple times but both stood firm to deny any further goals.
Despite South Melbourne’s dominance, their best chance of the half fell to Bonada, who was unable to beat Oldfield with a low shot.
In his post-match reflection, Coach Esteban Quintas praised the team’s resilience and ability to see out the result, stating, “We showed plenty of fight and were able to close out the match when needed. I am encouraged by the start and we are looking to build on this performance in the coming weeks.”
South Melbourne’s next challenge will be against Moreland City on Saturday at CB Smith Reserve.