Melbourne Heart FC created and then surrendered a 2-0 lead to draw 3-3 with the Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park this evening.
Melbourne Heart FC created and then surrendered a two goal lead as a resurgent second-half performance from Newcastle Jets saw the Red and White pegged back to 3-3 draw at AAMI Park this evening.
It was a case of two points dropped for the Red and White, as opposed to one point gained, as a blockbuster opening from the home side was cancelled out by a three-goal second half from the Jets.
Heart held the lead twice in the match and led 3-2 with 18 minutes remaining, before a late penalty from Ryan Griffiths handed the visitors a point.
Heart burst out of the blocks to serve the Jets, who were half asleep in the opening five minutes, with a double blow as Richard Garcia continued his hot streak of form, netting inside just 33 seconds for the fastest goal of this season so far.
Josip Tadic, who registered another stellar performance, fed Garcia after the Jets failed to deal with Patrick Gerhardt-s long ball, and the Heart-s no. 11 sent Yarraside into raptures.
Just five minutes later, the Jets were stunned and Heart were two goals to the good, as the silky Tadic advanced, slid in Garcia who was subsequently upended in the box and awarded a penalty.
Tadic stepped up to the spot, sending Jets keeper Matthew Nash the wrong way to leave the home side cruising at 2-0.
Heart continued to push forward and the lively David Williams, who came into the side for the injured Mate Dugandzic, almost profited from some more neat work from Tadic before the 20-minute mark.
Heart were visibly hungry for more and after a slick interchange in the midfield, Jason Hoffman poked a ball wide left to Williams who powered in a low cross, only to see Matthew Nash clutch at the ball at the second time of asking before Tadic could pounce.
Jets had their first sniff at goal in the 27th minute, as marquee man Emile Heskey leapt for James Brown-s cross, only for the former England international to head well wide of Clint Bolton-s target.
Heart brushed off that threat and should have extended its lead in the 33rd minute as Nash gifted possession to Williams with a heavy first touch from a routine back-pass.
Williams collected, turned and made a b-line for goal as Nash backtracked, but the Jets keeper redeemed himself, tipping Williams- stinging effort wide of the target.
Nash pulled off another excellent stop as Williams- free-kick from the left was destined for goal from Simon Colosimo's head, only for the Jets shot stopper to produce another stunning save to deny Heart-s centre-back.
As so often is the case, 2-0 proved a dangerous lead for the home side and the Jets looked a changed side in the second period.
Ironically, it took former Heart midfielder Craig Goodwin, fresh off the substitutes bench, to spark a comeback against his former club in the 56th minute.
After entering the fray one minute prior for James Brown, Goodwin turned in a dangerous ball from the right from Ruben Zadkovich and the Jets had the impetus.
Nine minutes later and the visitors were level as Zadkovich rocketed a 25 metre drive past an outstretched Bolton.
With the momentum well and truly in the Jets' favour, Heart found a lifeline in the 71st minute.
Hoffman nudged a ball forward to Tadic who slipped the ball wide to Thompson and the Heart's number 8 found Garcia who tapped home past Nash for his second goal of the match.
But Heart were dealt a painful late blow as the Jets were awarded a penalty, which Ryan Griffiths converted in the 87th minute as both sides shared the spoils.
Saturday, 24 November 2012 Melbourne Heart 3 (Richard Garcia 1-, 71- Josip Tadic 5- [PEN]) Newcastle Jets 3 (Craig Goodwin 56-, Zadkovich 63-, Griffiths 87th [PEN]) Venue: AAMI Park Crowd: 7,125 Referee: Jarred Gillett Assistant referee 1: Hakan Anaz Assistant referee 2: George Lakrindis Fourth official: Shaun Evans
Melbourne Heart squad: 1. Clint Bolton (GK), 2. Michael Marrone, 4. Simon Colosimo, 5. Fred (19. Ben Garuccio 61-) 6. Patrick Gerhardt, 8. Matthew Thompson, 10. Josip Tadic (9. Dylan Macallister),11. Richard Garcia, 15. David Williams, 16. Aziz Behich, 17. Jason Hoffman
Substitutes not used:20. Andrew Redmayne (GK), 24. Sam Mitchinson
Cautions: Patrick Gerhardt (56-), Aziz Behich (74-), David Williams (80-), Jason Hoffman (84-)
Newcastle Jets Squad: 2. Scott Neville, 4. Josh Mitchell, 5. Dominik Ritter (18. Jacob Peppe), 7. James Brown (15. Craig Goodwin 55-), 8. Ruben Zadkovich, 9. Emile Heskey, 10. Bernardo Ribeiro (17. James Virgili) 11. Connor Chapman, 16. Jobe Wheelhouse (c), 23. Ryan Griffiths, 33. Matthew Nash (GK)
Substitutes not used: 30. Jack Duncan (GK)
Cautions: James Brown (20-), Scott Neville (39-), James Virgili (73-), Emile Heskey (82-), Ryan Griffiths (87-)