Heart Continues Finals Surge With Home Win

Melbourne Heart FC has continued its surge towards the Hyundai A-League Finals Series with a 2-0 win over the North Queensland Fury at AAMI Park.

Melbourne Heart FC has continued its surge towards the Hyundai A-League Finals Series with a 2-0 win over the North Queensland Fury at AAMI Park.

After dominating the first half of the contest, Heart broke through after the break as 55-time Socceroo John Aloisi found the back of the net before Gerald Sibon provided the sealer in the dying minutes to consolidate the side-s spot in the top six in front of a crowd of 6,482.

Head Coach John van ‘t Schip believes the win has provided Heart with a massive boost to its finals aspirations.

“We will certainly be there with a big chance for the finals. Newcastle, Wellington and Melbourne Victory though have games in hand, which made today-s result important,” he said.

“Our discipline was good and we did not give a lot away, then after the first goal by John, we had a lot more room to play.

“With the bench we have, the depth in our squad is strong, and when you bring players like Gerald Sibon, Alex Terra and Michael Beauchamp, it helps.”

While Heart immediately resumed its usual passing rhythm in the early stages of the contest, North Queensland wasn-t deterred, seeking to attack the home side down the flanks.

And the Fury almost opened the scoring on 20 minutes after emerging striker Chris Payne burst into the box and was in on goal, only for Heart Captain Simon Colosimo to intercept his attempted cutback.

The scare sparked Heart into action as only minutes later, the Red and White produced the best chance of the contest through Josip Skoko.

Receiving the ball in midfield, the Socceroo legend proceeded to deftly edge past his Fury opponent before delivering an inch perfect pass to John Aloisi, who moved forward and played a cross into the box, finding Adrian Zahra.

The young winger, who recently signed a new two-year contract, did brilliantly to rise above his marker and head the ball back across to the awaiting Skoko, who almost completed the play he launched in spectacular fashion, half-volleying over the crossbar.

Zahra then had a chance of his own on the half hour mark, finding himself unmarked at the back post before skewing his strike wide of goal.

With Fury on the back foot, Heart continued to press in search of a breakthrough, as Skoko and Wayne Srhoj combined to unlock the away side through their slick passing and quick feet.

And on the stroke of half time, Skoko would have sent Heart into the lead with a scintillating left footed strike if not for the brilliance of Justin Pasfield, who produced a stunning save to deny Heart a deserved opening goal.

But soon after the break, Heart finally broke through via Aloisi, who slotted home for his fifth goal of the campaign.

The former Portsmouth attacker blasted a right footed strike past Pasfield at the near post after Michael Marrone showed great resolve to burst past his opponent and play the decisive ball unto the box.

Heart could have doubled its advantage 10 minutes later only for Pasfield to come to the rescue, denying Zahra from close range, while Alex Terra headed wide when unmarked at the near post as the match entered its final stages.

Substitute Gerald Sibon duly delivered Heart-s second of the contest in the 83rd minute, towering above his opponents to head home Matt Thompson-s cross to secure the three points for the home side.