SOUTH MELBOURNE FC v PASCOE VALE SC
A dramatic late winner from South Melbourne captain Michael Eagar has seen them defeat Pascoe Vale 3-2 to book a place in next Sunday’s PS4 NPL.
A dramatic late winner from South Melbourne captain Michael Eagar has seen them defeat Pascoe Vale 3-2 to book a place in next Sunday’s PS4 NPL Victoria Grand Final against the Bentleigh Greens.
The two sides could not be separated after 90 minutes at Lakeside Stadium on Friday night with normal time finishing 1-1, with extra-time having to decide who would advance past the semi-finals.
Pascoe Vale took the lead in the first-half of extra-time through Davey van’tSchip, but an equaliser from Andy Kecojevic brought it to 2-2 before Eagar popped up with the winner after 119 minutes of thrilling football.
It was understandably a cagey opening with both sides testing each other out early, with the first real chance of the game falling to South talisman Milos Lujic, but he could only direct a header just wide of the goal.
Pascoe Vale almost took a surprise lead a minute later when Joseph Youssef made a great run down the right, however van’tSchip could not stretch his leg far enough to get on the end of the winger’s pass.
South Melbourne should have taken the lead on 29 minutes when Nick Epifano won the ball in the midfield before cutting it across to Lujic, but the big striker blasted it over the bar thanks to great pressure from Pascoe Vale goalkeeper Alexander Pavlidis.
Matthew Lazarides forced South goalkeeper Nikola Roganovic into a save just two minutes later, before Luke Adams cleared the ball off the line from a Lazarides shot not long after that.
Adams then took his heroics down the other end of the ground and converted a shot from close range following a cross from Eagar after a corner-kick to give South Melbourne a 1-0 lead.
Pascoe Vale could not find the same rhythm in the final third that they showed in the first-half of the game, but as the second 45 progressed they began to look more threatening.
Vitale Ferrante brought on Jake Nakic for Lazarides and the forward made an immediate impact, cutting inside and curling an effort just wide of Roganovic’s goal.
Adrian Talarico had a goal denied following Michael Ferrante’s quick free-kick with the referee deeming the set-piece was taken just a little too quickly. However it was not long before Pascoe Vale finally brought the game level.
Van’tSchip capitalised after Roganovicparried a save and slotted the ball into the net to send the Pascoe Vale supporters into delirium. They had the goal they believed they deserved.
Normal time finished 1-1 and extra-time and possibly penalties would decide who would face Bentleigh, who had picked up a 2-0 win over Hume City in the other semi-final by this time.
Pascoe Vale had the momentum going into the extra-time period and they were rewarded with a goal to take the lead. Again van’tSchip was the scorer, getting his head on the end of a brilliant cross from Luca Santilli from the right flank.
That goal seemed to kick South Melbourne into gear, as they knew they needed a response instantly if they were to have any chance to advance to the final.
Luckily for South and the home fans they found the equaliser, with promising youngster Kecojevic bundling the ball home after Pavlidis failed to deal with a South Melbourne free-kick. It was game on.
The second period of extra-time was played at a slower pace to the rest of the game with tired legs the culprit, but somehow South Melbourne managed to find a winner before the game headed to penalties.
It had to be the captain Eagar, slotting home after a brilliant ball from Kecojevic. The extra-time substitute turned the game on its head, and South Melbourne’s class proved too much in the end for Pascoe Vale’s fighting spirit.
South Melbourne 3 (Adams 39’, Kecojevic 105+2, Eagar 119’)
Pascoe Vale 2 (Van’tSchi[ 73’, 99’)
Crowd: 2,500 at Lakeside Stadium
South Melbourne XI: 1. Nikola ROGANOVIC, 4. Michael EAGAR, 5. Luke ADAMS, 7. Nicholas EPIFANO, 8. Mathew THEODORE (23. Andy KECOJEVIC 102’), 9.Milos LUJIC, 11. Bradley NORTON, 12. Iqbal JAWADI, 14. Chris IRWIN (21. Jake BARKER-DAISH 120’), 22. Leigh MINOPOULOS (10. David STIRTON 77’), 77. Steve HATZIKOSTAS.
Un-used substitutes: 22. Fraser MACLAREN, 6. Tom LAKIC
Yellow cards: Irwin 10’, Hatzikostas 84’
Red cards: Nil
Pascoe Vale XI: 35. Alexander PAVLIDIS, 2. Adrian TALARICO, 4. Adam NAKIC (3. Nathen MEGIC 92’), 7. Luca SANTILLI, 8. Joseph YOUSSEF, 10. Davey VAN’T SCHIP, 13. Matthew LAZARIDES (9. Jake NAKIC 65’), 16.Tomislav MILARDOVIC, 17. Aaron TURNER, 21. Michael FERRANTE (6. Carl RECCHIA 117’), 23. Jake HALLIDAY.
Un-used substitutes: 1. Dennys MARTIN, 15. Mark PISTININZI.
Yellow cards: Santilli 74’
Red cards: Nil