Victory break Heart in the heat
A Luke O'Dea brace has given the Melbourne Victory two derby wins in consecutive days as they cruised to a 2-0 triumph over the Melbourne Heart in the National Youth League.
A Luke O'Dea brace has given the Melbourne Victory two derby wins in consecutive days as they cruised to a 2-0 triumph over the Melbourne Heart in the National Youth League at John Cain Memorial Reserve on Sunday.
Victory captain O'Dea struck his double just before half-time in oppressive conditions that hovered around 36 degrees.
It was a cagey first 30 minutes with both teams having possession deep in attack but lacking the final ball to carve out opportunities.
After the Victory opened the scoring, the game became stretched as both sides struggled to close down space in the searing heat.
This continued in the second half as the Victory dominated possession and cruised to an easy three points.
O'Dea's early shot was the only strike to trouble a keeper in the first 36 minutes, but the Victory skipper opened the scoring moments later after some hard work by Isaka Cernak.
The former Fury winger won the ball back as Heart were attacking and reversed a crafty pass to Connor Pain.
It looked as if Pain was in space to shoot but he teed up O'Dea, who smashed in a stinging drive from just outside the area.
It could have been two moments later as O'Dea and Cernak linked well, with the latter having a deflected shot bounce just wide.
The Heart tried to respond before half-time but Andrew Cartanos' spectacular outside-foot strike curled just past Tando Velaphi's right post.
But it was the Victory that struck again before the break after two chances were just missed by O'Dea and Pain.
Again it was Cernak pulling the strings in midfield as he slipped O'Dea clear through on goal.
After hitting his initial shot off the post, O'Dea clipped home the rebound from a tight angle.
Both teams tired quickly in the second half, with all substitutes making an appearance as the heat slowed the game tempo considerably.
O'Dea should have had his hat-trick on 76 minutes after he skied Kwabena Boahene's through ball over the bar from inside the six-yard box.
In stoppage time, substitute John Buceto nearly made it three for the Victory as he hit a 20-yard drive just wide of the left post.
The win allowed the Victory to leapfrog the Heart in second place on the table, still three points adrift of leaders Central Coast.
Melbourne Heart 0 Melbourne Victory 2 (Luke O'Dea 36, 45+1)
Melbourne Heart : 2. Jeremy Walker, 3. Cameron Edwards, 4. Andrew Mullett 5. William Abbott, 6. Joshua Groenewald (C), 7. Ersin Kaya (12. James Karvelis 45), 9. Zac Walker, 10. Stefan Mauk, 11. Andrew Cartanos (14. Stipo Andrijasevic 45) (8. Paulo Retre 54), 15. Nicholas Epifano, 16. Andrew Redmayne (GK) Yellow Cards: Groenewald 16, Mullett 30, Retre 59
Melbourne Victory: 1. Tando Velaphi (GK) (20. Luke Radonich 45), 2. Kwabena Boahene, 3. Jason Geria, 4. Petar Franjic, 5. Dylan Murnane, 6. Luc Jeggo (11. John Buceto 60), 7. Christopher Cristaldo (13. Theo Markelis 60), 8. James Jeggo (6. Luc Jeggo 75), 9. Luke O'Dea (c), 10. Isaka Cernak, 14. Connor Pain (12.Julius Davies 60)