Southern United fall to a first-half goal in their season opener
Southern United suffered a 1-0 loss against Canterbury United Dragons in a hard-fought encounter at English Park in Christchurch. The Willy Gerdsen coached team, who made the semi-finals of the ISPS Handa Premiership in 2017 – 18, took the lead in the 36th when Sean Liddicoat found the back of the net.
A good weighted ball from Stephen Hoyle found space in behind the Southern United defence and Liddicoat ran onto it and hit a well-placed shot into the bottom left corner past a diving Liam Little.
It was the defining moment in the match and despite a number of chances for both sides the scoreline remained 1-0 after 90 minutes. The most notable chance for Southern United landed to Markus Fjørtoft who hit his header straight at the Dragons keeper Conor Tracey soon after half-time.
In the closing stages, the Dragons could have doubled their lead when Cory Mitchell hit a fine shot but was denied by the woodwork. At the other end, Southern United keeper Little produced arguably the save of the match when Maksym Kowal went one-on-one with the keeper and he came off his line to make a timely save.