Derby draw in Melbourne

Victory and Heart are still searching for their first wins of the 2011/12 Hyundai A-League season after playing out a 0-0 draw in front of 39,309 fans at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

Victory and Heart are still searching for their first wins of the 2011/12 Hyundai A-League season after playing out a 0-0 draw in front of 39,309 fans at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

Victory enjoyed the majority of possession for much of the game without managing to convert that pressure and they had goalkeeper Ante Covic to thank for taking their second point from three games while Heart picked up their first of the season after back-to-back losses.

The first half featured more mistakes than clear-cut chances but Heart had the better of the opportunities only to be denied by Victory goalkeeper Covic.

Only signed on the eve of the season after incumbent Tando Velaphi suffered a fractured leg, Covic has proved a handy replacement as he seeks to make the position his own.

And while things finally began to open up in the second half, it was Victory who made the running, creating the better of the chances until the 75th minute only for the momentum to swing the other way in the closing stages, as the Heart misfired as well.

In just the fourth minute Alex Terra played a superb ball through to the front of the box for Mate Dugandzic, playing against his former team for the first time on his 22nd birthday, but Covic lunged to just get there first.

Playing his first game of the new campaign, Heart keeper Clint Bolton twice had his heart in his mouth in the 15th minute when Victory were unable to capitalise on a poor clearance and then a desperate punch clear.

Victory's best chance came approaching the half-hour mark when Grant Brebner's long ball put Archie Thompson into space before he cut it back for Isaka Cernak but he shot well over.

Terra narrowly failed to connect with a Dugandzic corner five minutes later and after stand-in Heart captain Matt Thompson was yellow-carded for diving his team should have scored but were again denied by Covic.

With Dugandzic teeing him up with a superb through ball, Michael Marrone elected to shoot with his left but made only soft contact as Covic came off his line to smother the ball.

After replacing Cernak at half-time, Jean-Carlos Solorzano very nearly opened the scoring on 56 minutes when Leigh Broxham's desperation gave Rojas the chance to fire in the cross but Solorzano got under his header.

Solorzano continued to trouble the Heart defence on the hour but Bolton eventually fell on the loose ball and the Heart stopper was again on the spot to deny Archie Thompson when Solorzano cut back for him.

After David Williams blazed over with 12 minutes left, Covic was then called on twice in the final minutes as Heart turned up the heat, both times preventing Dugandzic marking his birthday with a goal that would have stunned his former club as the teams were forced to share the spoils.

Melbourne Victory 0 Melbourne Heart 0