South Melbourne and Melbourne Knights played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
In the battle of the Victorian Premier League heavyweights, Knights lead twice before former Socceroo Ljubo Milicevic’s own goal in the second half gave both teams the share of points.
Prior to kick-off, South Melbourne CEO Leo Athanasakis presented president Ange Cimera with a piece of silverware, acknowledging Knights 60th birthday celebrations in what was a great show of respect between two of Victoria’s greatest football rivals.
Knights started the game on the front foot and it took Ben Surey only nine minutes to get the Knights on the board, after the defender cooly headed Anthony Colosimo’s free kick past Peter Gavalas.
South Melbourne had the chance to level the scores shortly after, however Trent Rixon’s header was cleared off the line by the Knights goal-scorer. Rixon’s second attempt at goal only minutes later hit the back of the net, however was ruled offside.
They eventually levelled after 24 minutes when Brad Norton ran onto a clever flick pass from Alan Kearney, shooting past Chris May.
Six minutes later, Shayan Alinejad restored the Knights lead with an unstoppable volley from the back post, thanks to a Ryan Filipovic cross.
Knights were unlucky not to see themselves 3-1 up after a series of passes between Ben Surey and Jacob Colosimo saw the prior one-on-one with the keeper who eventually saved the incoming shot.
The miss would come back to haunt the visitors when Milicevic, in his first game back in the Victorian Premier League, headed past his own goalkeeper at the 62nd minute mark to level the contest once again.
Despite the slight mishap, Chris May was yet again excellent in goal, producing a number of wonderful saves in the last half to end South Melbourne’s 100% winning streak at Lakeside Stadium this season.
Melbourne Knights return home to Knights Stadium to take on Hume City this Sunday.
South Melbourne: Peter GAVALAS, Tom MATTHEWS, Dimi TSIARIS (Tyson HOLMES 56’), Trent RIXON, Brad NORTON, Rhys MEREDITH (Andy VLAHOS 81’), Luke BYLES, Dimi HATZIMOURATIS, Alan KEARNEY, Marinos GASPARIS (Joe KEENAN 67’), Shaun KELLY.
Goals: Norton (24’), Milicevic (og) (62’)
Yellow Cards: Tsiaris (30’), Hatzimouratis (47’), Kelly (70’), Rixon (75’)?
Red Cards: None
Melbourne Knights: Christopher MAY, Ryan FILIPOVIC, Adam ZILIC, Ljubo MILICEVIC, Tomislav USKOK, Jacob COLOSIMO (Joseph KONYIT 83’), Marijan CVITKOVIC (Daramy HASSAN 55’), Anthony COLOSIMO, Ben SUREY, Shayan ALINEJAD, Sam TORRENS
Goals: Surey (9’), Alinejad (29’)
Yellow Cards: Cvitkovic (10’), Milicevic (36’), Filipovic (83’)
Red Cards: None