Melbourne Knights has suffered a 0-1 loss at the hands of South Melbourne in the first Melbourne derby of the National Premier League era.
In front of almost 1,500 fans at Knights Stadium, Milos Lujic’s late strike proved to be the distance in an entertaining contest.
With just five minutes to play, South striker Lujic hit an unstoppable shot, curling the ball into the net off the right upright, leaving Chris May stranded.
The first half started in exciting fashion, with early chances for both teams within the opening four minutes. First, South had a great opportunity when Jamie Reed seemed destined to score after Milos Lujic played a square ball only to be denied by a great last-ditch tackle by Anthony Colosimo.
On the counter, Rodrigo Covarrubias found his way in behind the South defence, but hit his shot straight at Jason Saldaris.
In the 18th minute, Knights thought they had gone ahead when James McGarry chipped Saldaris, only for the assistant referee to raise his flag for offside.
Saldaris stepped up in the 26th minute with a great reflex save to deny Covarrubias after Shayan Alinejad found the striker at the front post with a pin-point cross.
Up the other end, May proved his worth, denying Reed who struck a powerful shot from inside the box. Knights’ custodian did well to parry it over the bar.
— Melbourne Knights FC (@MelbKnights) April 27, 2014
South Melbourne started the second half the stronger of the two teams, creating a golden opportunity for Michael Eagar in the 47th minute. Nick Epifano crossed for South’s number four, but he couldn’t direct it on target.
Just before the hour mark, South had the ball in the net through Epifano but the assistant had flagged for off side and the goal was ruled out.
The visitors had another good spell of attacking possession around the 70th minute, but Knights’ defence held firm and averted the danger.
Knights had a golden opportunity soon after in the 74th minute. Anthony Colosimo’s long throw was flicked on at the near post by Uskok, finding Alinejad but the winger couldn’t connect and the ball trickled wide.
Lujic’s strike ten minutes later sent South Melbourne ahead with just five minutes plus injury time to play.
Melbourne Knights’ next fixture is away to Hume City at Broadmeadows Valley Park on Sunday, May 4. Kick off is at 3pm.