Heart Gallant In Melbourne Derby Defeat

A strong crowd of 23,059 has witnessed Melbourne Heart FC fall to a gallant defeat in the Derby Rematch, falling 3-1 to cross town rival Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park tonight.

A strong crowd of 23,059 has witnessed Melbourne Heart FC fall to a gallant defeat in the Derby Rematch, falling 3-1 to cross town rival Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park tonight.

Goals from Robbie Kruse either side of a stunning strike from Heart-s Gerald Sibon provided the platform for Victory, with Adrian Leijer adding another in the second half as the Red and White-s were made to pay for their wastefulness in front of goal, twice hitting the bar.

Head Coach John van ‘t Schip was proud of his side-s performance despite the loss, highlighting Heart-s stubborn intent to press until the final whistle.

“It-s hard when you are 3-1 behind as they changed their way of playing, sitting back. Despite falling behind, we kept of playing, fighting and creating opportunities,” he said.

“Overall, we weren-t outplayed, but we gave our goals away cheaply. If you look at the game itself, we didn-t play bad at all.”

Replicating the opening period of the first Melbourne Derby in October, the match burst to life inside the first 15 minutes, as this time Victory opened the scoring through a familiar source, Kruse.

The Hyundai A-League-s top scorer provided the finish from close range after Archie Thompson burst into the box on the break before playing a dangerous ball across goal to the awaiting Kruse.

However, Victory-s advantage didn-t last for long with Sibon injecting life into the contest with a spectacular 25-yard free kick, which curled wickedly around the ball before dipping into the bottom right hand corner.

The goals kept on coming soon after as Victory then reclaimed the lead, as a defensive error allowed Kruse to angle in on goal and slide a shot under Clint Bolton.

Heart managed to dictate the tempo for the remainder of the half, as Sibon and fellow midfielder Nick Kalmar sought to unlock the Victory defence to no avail.

While the home side managed to maintain the pressure after the break, the side was dealt another blow as Leijer bundled home at the back post after another dangerous run and low cross from marquee star Thompson.

Despite the setback, Heart refused to bow down, maintaining the intensity as first Kalmar then Kristian Sarkies hit the crossbar in the latter stages of the match.