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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 29 July 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 29 JULY 2017 27 SPORT GEORGE STOGIANNOU A dramatic injury time winner from the head of South Melbourne striker Milos Lujic has sent South Melbourne into unchartered waters as far as its FFA Cup quest goes. Lujic's 94th-minute header gave the Lakesiders a 1-0 win over a gallant Edgeworth FC in their Rd of 32 FFA Cup tie on Wednesday evening, sending the crowd of nearly 2500 South fans into raptures. While South rejoiced, it was a heartbreaking end to the Newcastle-based Edgeworth of whom gave the tie its best shot and were unlucky not to score themselves but for the crossbar and some fine saves from South keeper Nicola Roganovic. Edgeworth, or the Eagles, as they're known to fans, set up with a 4-4-2 formation opposed to South's 4-2-3-1. Up front they were led by Englishman Kieran Sanders and veteran Daniel McBreen both who came closest to scoring in the first half. Sanders beat the offside trap only to fire wide with just the keeper to beat early in the match. A McBreen header was deflected onto the crossbar in a lucky let-off for the home team whilst keeper Roganovic saved a goal-bound Sanders free kick. While neither team dominated the opening half, the visitors created the best chances and looked more threatening in attack, with McBreen misfiring a great chance late in the half. For South, Nick Epifano and Brad Norton down the left flank produced numerous crosses as they were to do all game, whilst right back Matt Foschini supplied crosses from the right flank. However most of these were cleared by the Eagles defence. The balance of the game swung perceptibly in South's favour in the second half, with the home team showing greater intensity. Defensive midfielder Matt Millar seemed to take a more advanced position and his strong driving runs seemed to shift Edgeworth deeper, with South Melbourne downs the Eagles to march into the FFA Cup Round of 16 South fans celebrate their team’s Cup win with centre back Kristian Konstantinidis PHOTO: KOSTAS DEVES strikers McBreen and Sanders also dropping deeper and seeing less of the ball. It allowed South more space at the back where centre backs Eager and Konstantinidis looked more comfortable than they had in the first half, fullbacks Norton and Foschini pushing on, and holding midfield Pavlou was able to link up and help shift the point of attack. The stats show South dominated possession with 61 per cent, and that they put in an astonishing 41 crosses into the Edgeworth box compared to the visitors’ 18 crosses. Most of South's crosses were supplied by Epifano, Norton, and Foschini. Edgeworth threatened much less in the second half although another McBreen header from a corner was denied only by a fine reflex save from Roganovic. South produced a late surge as it looked the side most likely to score and Edgeworth seemed content to play out full time and go into extra time. Edgeworth keeper Nate Cavaliere made some good second half saves from Schroen, Minopoulos and Foschini, but he couldn't keep out Lujic's late, late header from a perfect Schroen corner delivery. After the match South Melbourne coach Chris Taylor commented, that as the final whistle approached and the scores were still deadlocked, "We were preparing for extra time, probably going to make another sub, probably in the back of my mind, penalties, you know what happened at Palm Beach. But we've got a motto, and our supporters use it. 'Fight to the end.' And we probably did that, the way we performed in the second half, we probably deserved it in the end. It's just a tough way for Edgeworth to go out. They worked their socks off all night and did very very well. But there's got to be a winner in the end and nice to do it the way we did it." Of the change to the game Hawthorn Spartans are back on top of the ladder Last Saturday in cold and sunny conditions at their home ground, Rathmines Reserve, the Spartans beat Chadstone by 122 points in their biggest win this season. The Spartans once again jumped out of the blocks and scored the first five goals, five in the second quarter, seven in the 3rd quarter and finished off with another six goals in the last quarter. The Spartans met 90 per cent of their KPIs, had nine goal kickers and 38 scoring shots. Adrian Gileno, leading goal kicker in the comp kicked another eight goals in a very good team effort. The Spartans are now on top of the ladder with a huge percentage. 1st Qtr Spartans 5.7.37 to 0.1.1 2nd Qtr Spartans 10.10.70 to 1.4.10 3rd Qtr Spartans 17.14.116 to 2.7.19 4th Qtr Spartans 23.15.153 to 4.7.31 (final score) Goalkickers: Adrian Gileno 8, Con Pana 3, John Farah 3, Adam Karim 3, Phil Gaynor 2, Brendan Coutet 1, Tyson Barber 1, Tom Beech 1 and Tim Demetriou 1. Best: Tyson Barber, Adrian Ziccone, Adrian Gileno, John Farah, James Maddock and Tom White. Today's game is at 11.40 am at Melbourne High School, Yarra St, South Yarra. The canteen will be open. For more details and fixtures visit hawthornspartans.com. au ARCHIVE PHOTO: KOSTAS DEVES in the second half, Taylor explained, "We spoke about it at half time. We thought (that in the first half) we tried to get the ball forward a bit too quick at certain times and overplayed in some areas. But all we wanted to do was shift them around from side to side. We worked them fairly hard and obviously the last 20 minutes, you could see them tiring and that's probably how we got the goal in the end." As far as who South prefers to draw in the next round of the FFA cup, Taylor said, "The big thing for us is to play games here as people saw with the crowd at the end. That's what we're all about. You know, we want to put on a good show for everyone. Showcase Lakeside as a stadium. I thought it was fantastic out there today with a bit of rain out on the ground. It made the surface really good. But that's A-League class out there. We just want to be knocking on the door and telling everyone what we're about. We'd like to make a step up to the next level as a club. It's not just about pathways for players. It's about clubs as well. We want to be in the A-League. That's a little bit tonight. If we draw an A-League team, I'm sure we'll give in a good go as well."
22 July 2017
5 August 2017