Melbourne Heart FC went down 2-1 to Western Sydney Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium this evening.
A courageous second-half effort from Melbourne Heart FC was not enough to overturn a 1-0 deficit against Western Sydney Wanderers, as John Aloisi's side went down 2-1 at Parramatta Stadium on Friday night.
The Wanderers appeared to be cruising with Mark Bridge's first-half strike and an own goal by Heart defender Patrick Gerhardt putting them two up just after half-time.
But Heart striker Josip Tadic set up a thrilling finish when he smashed home a cracking volley on 57 minutes to halve the deficit.
Heart pushed hard for an equaliser and went close with two decent chances to snatch a point in front of just over 8000 fans in Sydney's west.
Both sides were having trouble creating any clear-cut chances in a physical but sloppy opening.
There were a number of fierce challenges being put in, including one by Japanese superstar Shinji Ono on Jason Hoffman that may have been lucky just to be a yellow card.
The first goal came through, Aaron Mooy who was able to thread a clever pass to Joey Gibbs on the edge of the box.
The young striker's touch went behind him a little but the ball fell perfectly into the path of Bridge, whose side-footed finish slipped underneath Clint Bolton and into the net.
Heart almost hit back five minutes later but Mate Dugandzic blazed his volley over the bar from just six yards out.
It took less than six minutes into the second half for the home side to double their lead.
The Wanderers broke quickly from defence with Mateo Poljak releasing Youssouf Hersi down the right wing.
The pacey winger's cross looked like it would be easily dealt with only for Gerhardt to scuff his clearance into his own net.
It was a cruel piece of luck for the Heart but six minutes later they pulled a goal back.
Aziz Behich swung in a high cross to the far post which was met with a sweet right-foot volley by Tadic that cannoned in off the far post.
The Heart were almost level a minute later when Richard Garcia's strike at close range hit the post and went wide.
It was as close as they came in a tense finish to the match with the Wanderers holding on to move up into the top six for the first time this season.
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Bridge 28, Gerhardt 51og) Melbourne Heart 1 (Tadic 57) Crowd: 8075 at Parramatta Stadium