South Melbourne has taken the first points of the PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria season, defeating last year’s runner-up Oakleigh Cannons 1-0 in front of a 3,523-strong crowd at Lakeside Stadium.
An own goal separated the sides after a Milos Lujic shot was saved by Oakleigh goalkeeper John Honos, only to ricochet back off of defender Adam Le Cornu, and into the net.
Oakleigh had the first real chance of the game with Dean Piemonte bursting his way into the box, only to scuff a shot into the arms of Honos.
Momentum shifted between the two combatants, with both teams having their share of chances.
But it wasn’t until the 24th minute when one side finally broke through.
A brilliant floating cross from Nick Epifano found Milos Lujic in the middle, who connected well with the ball, only to be denied by a reflex save by John Honos, before deflecting off of Le Cornu and bouncing back into the goal.
South pushed on after the goal, and almost found another breakthrough in the 40th minute with a through ball to Lujic almost opening him up, but a wonderful sliding tackle by Le Cornu preventing it.
But the final few minutes of the first half were all Oakleigh’s, with a Steve Pantelidis volley flashing across the face of goal, and a Goran Zoric pass finding new signing Ben Clarke, whose shot cannoned off the crossbar.
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Image courtesy of FFV