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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 27 February 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 27 FEBRUARY 2016 25 SPORT Bergers concede six goals to South and six NPL points to league leaders GEORGE STOGIANNOU South Melbourne provided a football masterclass in playing swift counter-attacking football, in its crushing 6-nil win over arch-rival Heidelberg United in their opening match of the new NPL1 league season at Lakeside on Sunday. Even after Nick Epifano had given South an early lead in the 12th minute, Heidelberg remained composed, enjoying good possession and putting together better combinations than South, and pushing forward. However the game changed dramatically in the last 10 minutes of the first half when South showed how lethal it can be on the counterattack, scoring through Lujic followed by another two goals to Epifano. The match also proved what most South people believe, that South is a much more potent attacking force with Milos Lujic at the pointy end of the attack. In Lujic's absence while away on his honeymoon, South had struggled to find the net in its last three pre-season games, including its disappointing loss to Bentleigh Greens last week in the Community Shield match. However, on his return in Sunday's match, the triple Golden Boot winner proved once again how vital he is to South, scoring its second goal and providing the assist for Matt Theodore's second half goal. His head-to-head tussle with Bergers' skipper Luke Byles showed his willingness to assert his authority on his own territory. The match also showed that South's latest signing prior to the transfer deadline, Matt Millar, through his pace, strength and physicality will be a welcome addition to South's attacking weaponry. On Sunday he was involved in three of South's goals, and probably the defining moment which effectively ended the match as a contest, and debutante Bergers' keeper Theodoridis's participation in the match. Millar raced into the box ahead of his marker, beating the oncoming Bergers' keeper Chris Theodoridis to the ball, who clipped him as he flew past, resulting in a red card for the Bergers' new keeper. The ten-man Bergers then watched as South's Nick Epifano converted the resultant penalty to complete his first half hat-trick. Trailing 4-nil at the break they never stood a chance of a fight back. Matt Theodore and Iqbal Jawadi scored for South in the second half to complete the rout. For Heidelberg it was a nightmare start to the season, in a game it desperately wanted to win, given it has a three-point penalty carried over from last season. It means it is now six points behind the leaders with a lot of ground to make up if it is going to be a serious title threat. After the match, shell -shocked Bergers coach George Katsakis commented: "Absolutely the worst possible start. Our season had to get off to a good start rather than a bad start with the deficit of three points. Today unfortunately we didn't put up a good display. We conceded silly goals, made some crucial mistakes and turnovers in the wrong areas. They punished us - that's what it's about at this level. "I apologise to our supporters more than anything else because I didn't think they deserved that. The number of goals is just not acceptable so we'll definitely need to work defensively. I'm sure they'll bounce back no doubt about it. It's a good group. Things like that happen in football. It doesn't happen often, just now and then. And today unfortunately was the day for us." "It was a perfect start in the derby, which can go either way,” South coach Chris Taylor commented after the game. “People have been writing us off, about not having strikers and that, right through pre-season but we showed we're still a reasonable side today. Every time we went forward, we looked like we'd score and that was quite clinical. We'd been working on it in the pre-season but it's not really clicked for us. So it worked for us today." South’s flying full back Brad Norton hurdles a tackle from Bergers’ defender Lewis Hall, in front of a healthy derby day crowd at Lakeside. PHOTO: KOSTAS DEVES. Eleni Glouftsis first woman to umpire AFL match Eleni Glouftsis will make history on Sunday when she becomes the first female field umpire to adjudicate an official AFL match. Glouftsis will officiate the Carlton-Essendon game at Ikon Park on Sunday. "We're really happy to say that Eleni will now make her NAB Cup debut this week," Kennedy told AFL.com.au "It's a great step forward in her development, but also for umpiring development as a community. It's fantastic.” The South Australian na- tive moved to Melbourne at the end of 2014 to take up a three-year AFL Female Pathway scholarship. Glouftsis is one of 12 AFL rookie umpires this year, but could still officiate a match during the premiership season should an emergency umpire be required to step in during a game. "Anything can happen," Kennedy said. "Eleni is now a rookie umpire on the AFL list so she can sit on the bench. If the opportunity comes and someone is injured, then yes, Eleni will be out there umpiring." The 23-year-old began umpiring in 2008 and progressed through the SANFL under-16s, under-18s and reserves before making her senior state league debut in August 2013. The AFL already has three female umpires in its ranks, with Chelsea Roffey, Rose O'Dea and Sally Boud behind goal. Kyrgios wins Marseille Open to claim first ATP title Nick Kyrgios has won his first ATP World Tour title after upsetting fourth seed Marin Cilic 6-2, 7-6 (7/3) in the final of the Marseille Open. The 20-year-old Canberran reached the final by defeating two top 10 players in Tomas Berdych and Richard Gasquet and he proved too good for 2014 US Open champion Cilic. Kyrgios did not lose a set all week and did not drop serve in any of his matches. "I played my first final last year and was looking for my first title," said Kyrgios, who lost his only other final appearance in Estoril last year. "But I didn't really expect to win this title this week after having a couple of weeks off. But from the first round I started playing really well and just gained confidence as I kept winning matches." Kyrgios is the first player under the age of 21 to beat top 10 opponents in consecutive matches since Juan Martin del Potro at the 2009 US Open. The win will also boost his world ranking which was at 41 at the start of the week.
20 February 2016
5 March 2016