Melbourne Knights looked to be taking home the inaugural FFV Community Shield until two late goals from South Melbourne clinched a 2-1 win for the away side at a drenched Knights Stadium on Friday night.
Stipo Andrijasevic gave Knights the lead with a towering leap and header from new signing Alex Dao’s corner kick in the 10th minute.
The score remained 1-0 for most of the affair and with ten minutes remaining it looked as though South Melbourne wouldn’t be able to breach the Knights defence.
However substitute Andy Brennan was at hand to tap the ball in from a corner that nobody could get a decisive clearance on to make it 1-1.
A decisive penalty shootout loomed but deep into second half stoppage time Chris Taylor’s men found a winner from another substitute Leigh Minopoulos to complete a harsh turnaround for the brave Knights.
Earlier on, the heavens had opened up over Knights Stadium during the NPL Victoria Season Launch, and the early stages of the match saw both teams struggle to get a grip in the saturating conditions.
That was until Andrijasevic’s header gave the home side the lead which they did well to protect on a number of occasions.
South should perhaps have equalised in the 16th minute when Milos Lujic found himself one-on-one with Chris May but couldn’t manage to find the target.
Down the other end Andrew Barisic did well to work some space just outside the box, but his left-foot drive went narrowly wide.
Chris May had to react low and quick to deny Iqi Jawadi’s fierce effort, the first of a few fine saves from the keeper.
Andrew Marth’s men were inches from doubling their lead at the beginning of the second half. Alex Dao’s low shot had Peter Gavalas beaten but was cleared off the goal line by Kristian Konstantinidis.
Gavalas did save his side with 15 minutes remaining as he dived to tip Andrijasevic’s venomous free kick around the post.
The Knights couldn’t find a second goal and painfully had the result taken from them at the death.