Heart Records Opening Win

Melbourne Heart FC has recorded an historic first ever Hyundai A-League victory after overcoming the North Queensland Fury 1-0 at AAMI Park.

Melbourne Heart FC has recorded an historic first ever Hyundai A-League victory after overcoming the North Queensland Fury 1-0 at AAMI Park.

Midfielder Nick Kalmar scored the only goal of the game in the 11th minute, heading home at the far post to edge his side ahead early on and continue his recent vein of form after finding the back of the net last week.

Head Coach John van ‘t Schip said he was thrilled for his side to finally break its drought and commence its climb up the Hyundai A-League table.

“We were close last week. If you look at the five games I think we deserved the three points today, not for the way we played in the first half, which was one of our worst performances, but we improved in the second half,” he said.

“Clint Bolton today was absolutely fantastic. He kept us in the game and in the second half, we all understood the urgency of playing as a team together and that-s what we did. We had some chances as well with Alex Terra, Gerald Sibon and John Aloisi.

“We have been working from a year ago putting this all together, and that is also what you can see and feel around the Club. It-s important we got the three points today.”

Fury bounced out of the blocks early, placing Heart under immediate pressure with its energy and attacking flair as David Williams immediately appeared ominous. But it was Heart which took the lead through Kalmar, ghosting in at the back post unmarked to direct a bullet header past Justin Pasfield in the Fury goal.

And Matt Thompson almost made it 2-0 moments later as his spectacular volleyed effort was parried high after a stunning ball from Brazilian winger Alex Terra.

However, North Queensland soon regained its composure, carving two stellar opportunities to bounce back through Eugene Sseppuya and Isaka Cerna, only for the duo to fail to trouble Heart custodian Clint Bolton.

Alex Terra had a chance to double his side-s advantage heading into the break, but he was only able to head wide after inventive lead up work from Gerald Sibon and Wayne Srhoj.

Heart maintained its momentum heading into the second half, controlling the tempo as the side attempted to reaffirm its advantage.

But once again, North Queensland wrested its way back into the contest, as Williams and Dyron Daal combined to cause havoc in the attacking third of the park.

The away side were presented with a golden chance to draw level midway through the half, but Gareth Edds was denied by a stunning save from Bolton, who produced another sterling display in the Heart goal.

Substitute John Aloisi almost capped his return to first team football late in the contest, but Heart held firm to record a historic victory.