Two goals either side of half time proved decisive in Pascoe Vale's 2-0 win over South Melbourne at CB Smith Reserve on Friday night.
The match also marked the long-awaited return of new Australian citizen Hakeem Al-Araibi to the pitch following his arrest in Thailand in 2018 and eventual
release back to Australia in February 2019.
Paco coach Vitale Ferrante gave starts to Joshua Calabria and Gonzalo Munoz, as the Vale looked to bounce back from its disappointing loss to league-leaders
Avondale in Round 5.
Its chance of doing so were done no harm a quarter of an hour in when Dimitri Hatzimouratis made the most of a South Melbourne defensive error to poke the ball
into the net.
The visitors' chances of finding their way back into the match were hampered five minutes as Kristian Konstantinidis was given his marching orders tearing down
Gonzalo Munoz. Efforts from 17-year-old Nick Georgopoulos and Davey van't Schip threatened to take the game away from South's reach before the interval.
The moment many had been waiting for arrived three minutes after the restart when Al-Araibi came on in place of Stephen Hatzikostas, hoping to guide his team home.
Goalkeeper Nick Feely had on be on guard to thwart South forward Nick Krousoratis on the hour mark, before van't Schip nearly put the game beyond doubt when his
strike crashed off the post.
It was finally left for substitute Philippe Bernabo-Madrid to do so when he coolly sent the ball home in the final minutes of the match to secure a valuable three points.
Paco will look for a similar outcome when it hosts Kingston City at CB Smith Reserve on Friday night.