South Melbourne claim epic Cup derby

South Melbourne are through to Victoria's last stage of qualifying in the Westfield FFA Cup following a heated 3-1 win over the Melbourne Knights at Lakeside Stadium on Friday night.

A penalty from Milos Lujic cancelled out Tomislav Uskok's opener, with Nick Epifano scoring twice in the last seven minutes to seal South's win against their arch-rivals.

The result is the club's third over the Knights this season and sees them now just one win away from reaching the FFA Cup Round of 32.

Despite a glut of chances neither side could find the back of the net in the first half, the best opportunity falling to Newcastle Jets bound striker Andy Brennan.

Playing his last match for South, Brennan made a break down the left wing and was through on goal but goalkeeper Chris May denied his effort, pulling off three saves in quick succession.

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Instead it was the Knights that scored first through Uskok after he buried a powerful header into the back of the net from a corner.

Goalkeeper Nicola Roganovic, who had defender Tom Lakic to thank for clearing an earlier effort off the line, got a glove to the header but was unable to keep it out.

South pushed bodies forward in search of an equaliser and got back on level terms in the closing stages after the referee pointed to the spot for a handball inside the box.

Lujic made no mistake with the spot-kick, sending May the wrong way as he guided the ball into the bottom-left corner to the delight of the home fans.

A frenetic end to the match saw Epifano cover himself in glory with a stunning curling strike from distance to put his side ahead.

After making a surging run down the wing the attacker cut inside on the edge of the box, unleashing a classy finish that went in off the post.

South Melbourne players celebrate scoring against the Melbourne Knights.

Epifano made sure of the result in the final minute finishing off a swift counter-attack as the Knights pressed desperately to get back in the game.

Both sides finished the contest with 10-men after tensions boiled over in injury time.

Uskok and Roganovic were sent-off for their part in a scuffle that saw all 22 players on the field involved.

Despite the spiteful end to the game it was South Melbourne left celebrating at full-time, the final result avenging their exit to the Knights in last season's Cup qualifying.