Melbourne Heart FC’s winning streak stretched to four games on Sunday after a sensational 1-0 triumph against Hyundai A-League leaders Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park.
Melbourne Heart FC-s winning streak stretched to four games on Sunday after a sensational 1-0 triumph against Hyundai A-League leaders Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park.
Marquee man Orlando Engelaar struck in the second-half to put Melbourne Heart ahead in the 61st minute, with the towering Dutchman-s second goal in as many games capping off a commanding midfield performance.
Brisbane threatened to equalise in the dying embers of the match, only for Patrick Kisnorbo-s superb last-ditch tackle on Bersart Berisha denying the visitors.
John van-t Schip-s side harried the usually dominant Roar outfit and in the second half ran away with the game to secure the Zaidee-s Rainbow Cup, which was contested to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation.
The contest began at a high and open pace with the game-s first chance falling to Iain Ramsay in the fourth minute as the left winger forced a low block from Michael Theo in the Roar-s goal.
Van-t Schip-s men worked hard to prevent Roar from settling into their own tempo from the start, attacking quickly and defending doggedly when without possession.
Melbourne Heart had Roar scrambling in the ninth minute as Mate Dugandzic caught Roar captain Matt Smith in possession close to his box before sending in a low cross, which was blocked out for a corner.
However, Roar soon began to create their own momentum and after an impressive spell of possession in the 22nd minute, Brazilian winger Henrique had his shot deflected for a corner after a smart cutback into his path from Ivan Franjic.
With this slight shift in the game-s tempo, Roar-s danger men Berisha and Thomas Broich combined on the left flank in the 24th minute, with the Albanian holding off three opposing players but firing over the bar from the edge of his area.
Henrique then scuffed a chance to play Berisha through on goal in the 33rd minute after a miscued Jason Hoffman back pass.
Engelaar found himself in space in Roar-s area after a neat one two with Dugandzic shortly after, yet the Dutchman couldn-t pick out David Williams waiting in the middle.
Melbourne Heart did a brilliant job of stemming the flow of Brisbane Roar, not allowing the A-League-s most fluid side to dominate them at any stage of the first 45 minutes and the scores remained level at 0-0 at the interval.
The second half began in the same combative nature as the first with both Melbourne Heart and Brisbane players battling hard to grab control of the contest. Engelaar continued to impress for the Red and White, providing the midfield with a great mix of strength, presence and technique.
The first good chance of the half fell to Roar-s Matt McKay in the 58th minute when he broke away from the Red and White defence to have his shot saved well by Andrew Redmayne in goals.
Melbourne Heart had their own break soon after when Dugandzic found himself in space and played through Ramsay whose dangerous low cross was safely collected by Theo.
The home side didn-t have to wait long to get another opportunity; however, as Dugandzic nutmegged Luke Brattan on the edge of the box with his inch-perfect cross finding Engelaar who calmly slotted the ball into the Roar net, sending Melbourne Heart fans into thunderous celebrations at AAMI Park.
After 61 minutes of see-sawing football, van-t Schip-s men now had a lead to protect, but this did not stop the team attacking as Williams- shot was intercepted as he was sent through on goal by man-of-the-match Engelaar.
From the resulting corner, set piece specialist Kisnorbo forced a fine save from Theo with a headed effort on goal.
The barrage continued when another Kisnorbo effort from a corner was blocked and then a goal-mouth scramble ensued, which then led to an indirect free kick just in front of Melbourne Heart-s penalty spot.
In amazing scenes, all 10 of Roar-s outfield players stood on the line and managed to block Engelaar-s powerful drive from the free kick.
Despite being on the attack and holding the momentum, the Red and White still had to be wary of Roar-s numerous threats and they were reminded of this when from a step, Broich curled a shot dangerously wide of Redmayne-s goal in the 80th minute.
Dugandzic tried to seal the game in the 82nd minute but blazed high and wide from a great position after being put through by the energetic substitute Nick Kalmar.
The usually lethal Berisha could have secured a point for the Roar when he found himself through on goal after weaving past two opponents with only Redmayne to beat in injury time, but a superb last ditch tackle from Kisnorbo stole the ball off the striker-s feet just in time.
This was Roar-s best chance of the half and was the catalyst for a nail biting four minutes of added time that van-t Schip-s men managed to see out, to the sheer delight of the Red and White fans in the stands.
Match Details Hyundai A- League Round 20 Sunday, 23 February 2013 Melbourne Heart FC 1 (Engelaar 61-) Brisbane Roar 0 Attendance: 7816 Referee: Adam Kersey
Melbourne Heart FC Starting XI:1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 4. Orlando ENGELAAR (21. Stefan MAUK 83-), 6. Patrick GERHARDT, 7. Iain RAMSAY 19. (Benjamin GARRUCIO 89-), 8. Massimo MURDOCCA (C), 13. Jonatan GERMANO (22. Nicholas KALMAR 69-), 15. David WILLIAMS, 16. Aziz BEHICH, 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 23. Mate DUGANDZIC, 24. Patrick KISNORBO Substitutes not used: 18. David VRANKOVIC, 20. Tando VELHAPI (GK) Yellow Cards: Iain Ramsay 10-, Massimo Murdocca 30-, Partick Gerhardt 45+1-, Aziz Behich 89- Red Cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar FC Starting XI: 1. Michael Theo (GK), 2. Matthew SMITH (C), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 5. IVAN Franjic, 7. Besart BERISHA, 10. HENRIQUE (23. Dimitri PETRATOS 76-), 11. Liam MILLER (15. James DONACHIE 77-), 13. Jade NORTH, 17. Matthew McKAY, 18. Luke BRATTAN (16 Jean Carlos SOLORZANO 86-), 22. Thomas BROICH Substitutes not used: 14. Diogo FERREIRA, 20. Matthew ACTON (GK) Yellow Cards: Liam Miller 40-, Shane Stefanutto 50- Red Cards: Nil