A second half goal from Wellington Phoenix’s Stein Huysegems has condemned Melbourne Heart FC to a 1-0 loss at AAMI Park in the Club’s final match of 2013.
A second half goal from Wellington Phoenix-s Stein Huysegems has condemned Melbourne Heart FC to a 1-0 loss at AAMI Park in the Club-s final match of 2013.
Looking to end the year on a high, the Red and White started well and created plenty of openings, but were unable to convert as Phoenix snatched the winner in the final 15 minutes.
With Patrick Kisnorbo suspended, there was only one change to Melbourne Heart-s starting line-up from the Melbourne Derby, with Patrick Gerhardt slotting in for his namesake in central defence.
In similar fashion to the Derby, Melbourne Heart started brightly, and it was David Williams who threatened to open the scoring, carving the first opening from a corner, but he skewed his shot over the bar.
Wellington, buoyed by its first win of the season against Sydney FC last week, created openings of its own and playmaker Carlos Hernandez proved dangerous, especially from set pieces.
The Costa Rican was inches from pinching the lead in the 10th minute, finding space to shoot before firing a low shot which ricocheted off the post, before a downward header form Kenny Cunningham forced a good save out of Andrew Redmayne seven minutes later.
As both teams traded blows, a lively Jason Hoffman split the Phoenix defence with a ball from right back, releasing Michael Mifsud down the wing, but his perfect cut-back steered wide of the target by Williams at the back post.
Just a minute later Hernandez brought out the best in goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne, who stretched to tip out a curling free kick.
Heart closed out the first period well, testing Phoenix again on the half an hour mark, when Nick Kalmar controlled a Williams on the edge of the box, but his left-footed effort flew over the bar.
During the second stanza, Wellington began the period with more of the ball but it was Melbourne who created the chances, with left-back Aziz Behich influential down the left wing.
A mazy run from the energetic Behich five minutes into the half almost lead to the opening goal, but after weaving his way past three defenders, Behich-s shot was saved by Phoenix keeper Glen Moss.
Playing with confidence, Behich terrorised Phoenix-s defence, and in the 55th minute it was his cross that almost found the net via Michael Mifsud, but his effort from inside the six yard box was thwarted by Moss, before Andrew Durante-s last ditch block denied Williams on the follow up.
It seemed only a matter of time before Heart found the opener, with Harry Kewell grazing the post just after the hour mark; however, it was Wellington who found the breakthrough.
Substitute Tyler Boyd found himself in space down the right, before bursting into the box and cutting the ball back to Huysegems and the striker guided the ball into the next from close range in the 75th minute.
In the final quarter of an hour Heart searched for an equaliser, but left empty handed after creating enough chances to claim all three points.
Match Details Saturday, 27 December 2013 Hyundai A-League Round 12 Melbourne Heart FC 0 Wellington Phoenix FC 1 (Huysegems 75-) AAMI Park, Melbourne HT: 0-0 Referee: Strebre Delovski Attendance: 6,486
Melbourne Heart FC Starting XI: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 3. Robbie WIELAERT, 6. Patrick GERHARDT, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 10. Harry KEWELL (C), 11.Michael MIFSUD, 15. David WILLIAMS (7. Iain RAMSAY 60-), 16. Aziz BEHICH (14. Golgol MEBRAHTU 81-), 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 22. Nick KALMAR (25. Andrea MIGLIORINI 81-), 23. Mate DUGANDZIC Substitutes not used: 18. David VRANKOVIC 20. Tando VELAPHI (GK) Yellow cards: Hoffman 14-, Gerhardt 45-+1 Red cards: Nil
Wellington Phoenix Starting XI: 1. Glen MOSS (GK), 2. Emmanuel MUSCAT, 9. Kenny CUNNINGHAM (7. Leo BERTOS 57-), 10. Stein HUYSEGEMS, 11. Jeremy BROCKIE (12. Tyler BOYD 72-), 13. Albert RIERA, 16. Louis FENTON, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 21. Carlos HERNANDEZ (15. Jason HICKS 78-), 22. Andrew DURANTE (C) Substitutes not used: 5. Michael BOXALL, 20. Lewis ITALIANO (GK) Yellow cardsRed cards: Nil