South's woeful NSL week gets worse - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

South's woeful NSL week gets worse

By Guy Hand 02/03/2003 09:14:24 PM Comments (0)

South Melbourne completed its transformation from national soccer league force to farce with a 4-1 loss to Parramatta Power on the weekend which looks to have cost it a berth in the finals.

With Northern Spirit beating Melbourne Knights 3-1 on Sunday night at Knights Stadium, the Spirit can seal a playoff spot with victory over bottom club Marconi next Friday night.

In a move designed to rally South's players after some recent poor form, the club board sacked coach Danny Wright midweek despite him keeping South in the top six all season and taking it to within one win of the playoffs.

The move backfired spectacularly, with South not only losing a match it had to win, but slipping out of the top six and now set to miss the finals altogether.

It has only one match remaining - against the Football Kingz in a fortnight - and must rely on either Northern Spirit or fifth-placed Adelaide City to commit suicide in their two remaining matches to have any chance of making the 10-week home-and-away finals series.

That looks an unlikely prospect for the in-form Spirit, which registered its eighth win in 11 matches to move into the top six at South's expense.

Fourth-placed Parramatta led 2-1 at halftime against South, but held off several good attacking raids from the visitors and eventually scored late goals through Kosta Salapasidis and John Buonavoglia to virtually s own playoff spot.

Olympic Sharks maintained their spot atop the NSL table with a 5-0 thumping of Wollongong at WIN Stadium on Friday night.

But coach Lee Sterrey was less than impressed, describing his side as "garbage".

"We'll have to improve a great deal in the finals," Sterrey said.

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