South Hobart shatters cup dream for Zebras

Former Socceroo Steve Corica, brought in for a one-off appearance in the Statewide Cup for Hobart Zebras, failed to have an impact against South Hobart and was substituted in the 63rd minute.

Former Socceroo Steve Corica, brought in for a one-off appearance in the Statewide Cup for Hobart Zebras, failed to have an impact against South Hobart and was substituted in the 63rd minute.

SOUTH Hobart took just moments to shatter Hobart Zebras' hopes of repeating last week's win against the reigning Victory League champion, scoring 12 seconds after the start of the Statewide Cup final yesterday.

Zebras were unable to repeat their 3-0 win against South, despite the introduction of former Socceroo Steve Corica, and went down to Ken Morton's men by the same 3-0 margin.

Ben Hamlett opened the scoring, putting away Brayden Mann's cross into the bottom right corner to get South off to the dream start at KGV in Hobart.

Zebras keeper Nathan Pitchford needed to be on hand soon after to push Hamlett's 19th-minute shot over the crossbar and made a penalty save five minutes later to keep his side in the game.

Veteran Josh Fielding had brought Mann down inside the area but the forward's shot was saved by Pitchford, who dived to his right to keep the ball out.

Corica, brought in by Zebras for a one-off finals appearance, began to work his way into the match midway through the first half.

The 41-year-old showed a touch of class to set up Marcello Marchioli, but the midfielder shot wide in the 34th minute, and saw Henry Fagg head over the crossbar from his set piece five minutes later.

South came close to extending its lead twice in quick succession; Nick Morton heading wide while unmarked at the back post and Hamlett fizzing a shot past the left upright.

But it was a bizarre error from Zebras' defender Mark Page, who passed the ball back to Mann, allowing the striker to bury the gift inside the left post, that put South 2-0 up a minute before half- time.

South had the greater share of chances after the restart but still needed its keeper Kane Pierce to pull out a great save from Alex Leszczynski's free kick in the 83rd minute.

However, Morton put the icing on the cake of a deserved South Hobart win with a shot into the bottom right in the final minute of normal time.

The result will see South play in the Football Federation Australia Cup, a tournament based on the English FA Cup, which pits teams from all leagues against each other in a knockout competition.

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