South Hobart qualified for the Premier League section Summer Cup final from Group A when they beat New Town Eagles 1-0 at South Hobart today.
Their opponents from Group B will be known on Sunday when Glenorchy Knights take on Kingborough Lions United at 2.30pm at South Hobart.
In today’s Group B match, Clarence United downed Taroona 2-0 to move level on 6 points with Knights, but Clarence have completed their games, whereas Knights have the game against Lions still to play.
Kingborough must beat Knights on Sunday by three clear goals to reach the final.
If they beat Knights 2-0, then Knights, Clarence and Kingborough will be level in every regard - points, goal-difference and goals scored.
If Kingborough win 3-1, then Clarence are out and Kingborough and Knights will be equal in every regard.
A win of 3-0 or better is, therefore, the target for the Lions.
Eagles put up a plucky display against South today and only a last-minute goal by Jonathon Lo settled the issue.
South had nearly all the possession and sprayed passes over every square centimetre of the pitch, but they could not score.
They went close in the 12th minute when a deep cross from Greg Downes was headed against the crossbar by Liam Scott. The ball rebounded to Kostas Kanakaris, who shot into the side-netting.
Most of South’s other shots were straight at goalkeeper Craig Minty, who, nevertheless, had to make one superb save when he turned Scott’s shot over the bar 11 minutes from the end.
Two minutes later, Bart Beecroft lifted a half-volley over the Eagles’ bar as South kept up the pressure without reward.
Adam McKeown worked his socks off for Eagles in a lone role up front. At times he was surrounded by three defenders, but he stuck to the task and was probably Eagles’ best player.
Shane Kent was solid at sweeper, while his fellow defenders fought tenaciously against a team that stretched them this way and that without being able to get in an effective strike at goal.
Steve Louden was ferocious in the tackle and often disrupted South’s attacks before they became too menacing.
Eagles introduced Chris Jones 6 minutes after the interval and it took him only four minutes to get booked.
His impact was mainly physical and he was never able to gain possession and make things happen.
When South brought on Garry Upton, the sparks soon flew between the pair.
Upton stabilised the South Hobart ship, however, and won every aerial duel and actually found team-mates with his passes from midfield.
Too often, before he came on, South’s midfielders squandered possession by playing bad passes.
Eagles, on the other hand, had their backs to the wall and relied on sporadic counter-attacks that usually came to nothing.
They had only one genuine chance, but Michael Anderson was off target.
With seconds remaining and South assured of a place in the final, regardless of the outcome of the penalty shoot-out if the game ended in a draw, Eagles cracked and allowed their opponents to collect all three points.
A long ball forward by Scott was collected by Kanakaris, who played a short pass inside to Lo, who hammered it home from close range.
Clarence were comfortable winners over Taroona, who finished the tournament without scoring a goal and losing all three games.
Clarence wore black armbands in memory of Jack Huigsloot, the grandfather of Luke Huigsloot, who passed away during the week.
Ben Hamlett fired Clarence ahead in the 10th minute with a long-range effort from the right.
Sam McIntyre made it 2-0 seven minutes into the second half when he turned home Alex Nandan’s precise left-wing cross.
Nandan added the third direct from a corner from the right midway through the half.
Taroona had a couple of half-chances before the end but poor finishing yet again cost them dearly.
With seven minutes remaining, for example, Hugo Luttmer put Marc Gates away on the right and when his shot was partially blocked by the Clarence keeper, the ball fell to Garry Hamilton, who miscued in front of an empty net.
South Hobart produced an excellent performance in the Reserves, downing New Town Eagles 8-0.
Andy Brennan, Jo Yeong-Sun and Mizael Linhares Caires all scored braces, while Seth Otte and Will Ross netted a goal apiece.
Caires’s two goals, in particular, were outstanding. His first came from a beautifully flighted chip from the right, while his second came when he broke clear in the inside-right channel and beat the advancing keeper.
A goal by Luke Wilcock gave Clarence a 1-0 win over Taroona.
In Group A in the Division One Summer Cup, Metro beat the Tasmanian Institute of Sport 4-1 through two goals by Jason Dawes and one each by Aaron Marney and Jeremy Morris.
Nelson Eastern Suburbs overcame Huon Valley 7-1, with Tom Gordon netting a hat-trick and Bill Hanley, Adam Mills, Patrick Lenck and Will Stalker grabbing a goal apiece.
Huon Valley replied with a penalty.