Avondale wins 2023 NPLM Grand Final against South Melbourne 4-0

A loud and passionate crowd filled the stands of the Olympic Village on Sunday, September 10 to watch Avondale capture its first NPLM Championship.

The Avengers proved too strong from the first whistle, kicking four goals against a strong South Melbourne defence.

Avondale coach Joran Markowski was happy with the postgame emotions, proving the haters wrong.

„I’m very proud of this team, it’s a great achievement,” he said.

“These two teams are two of the best teams in Victorian football and I know we struggled a bit last year but what a match today.

“We took our moments, South had some chances and then we finished them at the end.

“I’m very proud of a coach who said we’re not only the best team in Victoria, but the best team in Australia.

„We’re going to have a big time with the fans tonight and you can see all the support we got today for the Avondale haters, they were louder than anyone in the crowd.”

In the fourth minute of the game, Christian Dragzeski put a shot on goal for Zander Guy to put South Melbourne out of the game early.

South Melbourne soon found their groove and Max Mikkola’s long throws created quality forward chances for Hellas.

The first big chance of the game came from Avondale’s Zander Guy, who hit the crossbar with a brilliant strike from outside the box in the 20th minute.

Minutes later, South goalkeeper Javier López made a half of the game after requiring treatment for an apparent leg injury.

Xander Guy has provided the Avengers.

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Avondale’s Stephen Zinny dribbling the ball against South Melbourne in the 2023 NPLM Grand Final.

After only naming a traditional goalkeeper on the team sheet, a scare went through the Avondale camp when Tomas Manos picked up a heavy knock, but the shot-stopper recovered and returned to action.

South Melbourne looked to claw their way back into the game as the first half wore on.

On the brink of the break, Stefan Zinni managed to guide the ball to the far post and back into the back of the net, forcing Javier Lopez to watch as the match continued to slip away.

Both teams came back from the main break and Avondale continued to push, with Lopez making two good saves to keep his side alive.

Two goals down, Southern Yagoub Mustafa was hoping for a spark, but experienced striker Liam Boland made an immediate impact – scoring a belting goal in the 79th minute.

Avondale pulled off a final blow as Liston Diaz pulled one back to secure the championship for South Melbourne.

Avondale captain Ayden Brice was named best on field for his defensive effort and fine leadership on the day.

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