Heart Youth Fall To Victory

Melbourne Victory recorded their second consecutive National Youth League win and bragging rights over cross town rival Melbourne Heart with a 2-1 win at Kingston Heath on Sunday.

Melbourne Victory recorded their second consecutive National Youth League win and bragging rights over cross town rival Melbourne Heart with a 2-1 win at Kingston Heath on Sunday.

In atrocious conditions, Melbourne Victory scored either side of half-time to put a dent in ten-man Heart-s finals aspirations.

Despite securing their share of possession, Heart-s chances were kept to a minimum with David Williams presenting the best chance with a long-range shot that slid past Victory keeper Tando Velaphi-s right.

Pondeljak made amends for his earlier miss; however, slotting home the opening goal in the 16th minute as the rain began to fall.

A touch of class from James Riccobene, who was marked by Adrian Zahra down the left, resulted in a perfectly placed cross to the foot of Pondeljak who saluted with a low, heavy right-footed strike into the bottom left corner of Heart-s goal.

The experience of Paul Reid and the dashing runs of Kamal Ibrahim began to worry the Victory, as David Williams paired off with Billy Celeski.

Heart-s increased possession was rewarded in the 23rd minute as Adrian Zahra finished off a skilful piece of short-passing football, slotting neatly into the right-hand corner of Victory-s goal.

With his back to goal, Maycon deftly tapped the ball into the path of Zahra who gladly saluted.

A David Williams yellow card in the 32nd minute would come back to haunt Heart as they were reduced to ten men in the 72nd minute.

David Williams- crude sliding tackle resulted in a second yellow and dismissal from the game.

The second half was played almost entirely in driving wind and rain, making for tough conditions for both players and spectators.

The Victory regained the lead in the 70th minute thanks to a brilliant run from John Buceto, who weaved his way down the right side, delivering an accurate pass to Christopher Cristaldo. Cristaldo clinically despatched the ball into the bottom right hand corner of Heart-s goal.

Buceto was the spark Victory needed in the second half and acted as provider for the winning goal shortly after being substituted into the game.

Heart missed a chance to level the game in the 78th minute through Stipo Andrilasevic who was unguarded close to goal.

With only the keeper to beat, he misread the flight of the ball and fell awkwardly.

Melbourne Victory had a chance to ice the game in the 89th minute but for a misplaced strike from close range.

Cristaldo had only the keeper to beat but pushed the greasy ball right.

Melbourne Victory 2 (Pondeljak 16, Cristaldo 70) Melbourne Heart 1 (Zahra 23)