Stoic Paco defence keeps South to just one
By: JAMES MANTON
A stoic defensive display was all that saved Pascoe Vale from a much more severe defeat, as it lost 1-0 to South Melbourne at Lakeside Stadium on Friday night.
Milos Lujic's first-half goal was all South Melbourne could muster despite a dominant performance in which it had the vast majority of possession and shots.
The first-half was a rather drab affair as both sides struggled to make any headway into their attacking halves, with a tame Luke Adams header the first shot on target almost 15 minutes in.
Jake Nakic came close to giving Vale a surprise first-half lead after powering past two South Melbourne defenders into the box, but his left-foot shot was just dragged wide of the goal.
The next minute Lujic almost went one better at the other end, but after his delightful turn at the edge of the area, his shot just flew over the top corner.
The deadlock was finally broken five minutes from the break as Lujic got onto the end of a through ball and slid it past the onrushing Alexander Pavlidis to give South Melbourne a deserved lead.
Lujic nearly doubled his tally just a few minutes after the break as he once again got onto the end of a through ball, but his attempted chip went well wide of the goals.
The heavy rain took over the second half as South Melbourne's dominance grew, with a spectacular scissor kick from Andy Brennan - a potential goal of the season contender - brilliantly saved by Pavlidis.
Once again Lujic proved a handful for the Pascoe Vale defenders as his header from a Mathew Theodore cross cracked into the post and went wide.
A dominant yet frustrated South Melbourne began resorting to fanciful efforts as the half moved on, with Dane Milovanovic's 30 metre attempt close but speculative at best.
Pascoe Vale won a free-kick on the paint of South's box with just a few minutes left, but Michael Ferrante's effort went well over and removed any chance of the visitors stealing a point on the night.
South Melbourne 1 (Lujic 40') defeated Pascoe Vale 0
South Melbourne: 1. Nicola ROGANOVIC, 2. Sheptim MALA, 4. Michael EAGAR, 5. Luke ADAMS, 21. Jake BARKER-DAISH (27. Leigh MINOPOULOS 71'), 8. Mathew THEODORE, 9. Milos LUJIC, 11. Bradley NORTON, 12. Iqbal JAWADI, 13. Dane MILOVANOVIC, 17. Andy BRENNAN (23. Andy KELOJOVIC 87')
Unused substitutes: 6. Bonel OBRADOVIC, 22. Rory BRIAN
Yellow card(s): Eagar 70', Theodore 79'
Red card(s): Nil
Pascoe Vale: 35. Alexander PAVLIDIS, 2. Adrian TALARICO, 3. Nathen MEGIC (11. Connor KASS 86'), 6. Carl RECCHIA (4. Adam NAKIC 45'), 8. Joseph YOUSSEF, 9. Jake NAKIC, 15. Mark PISTININZI, 16. Tomislav MILARDOVIC, 18. Tom BLACK (12. Matthew CONVERSANO 64'), 21. Michael FERRANTE, 23. Jake HALLIDAY
Unused substitutes: 1. Stefaan SARDELIC, 7. Luca SANTILLI
Yellow card(s): Black 39'
Red card(s): Nil