Melbourne Heart FC suffered a narrow defeat against Hyundai A-League opponent Adelaide United on Friday afternoon at Epping Soccer Stadium.
A first-half brace from Marcelo Carrusca gave the travelling Reds a 2-1 win over Melbourne Heart, who replied in the second half through a 64th minute goal from David Williams.
Josep Gombau fielded a strong United line-up, including stalwarts Nigel Boogard, Jon McKain and Eugene Galekovic but it was one of the Reds’ new signings – Spaniard Sergio Cirio, who looked lively in the first half and created the visitor’s two goals.
Head Coach John Aloisi opted to rest signings Michael Mifsud and Harry Kewell, and fielded youth players Marcus Schroen and Paul Retre in midfield.
With a pacy front three of Williams, Mate Dugandzic and Golgol Mebrahtu, Melbourne Heart looked to expose the space in behind United's defence and almost did just that, when, in the 11th minute, Williams found space to shoot, but his effort was well saved by Galekovic.
But after added pressure in midfield, Heart conceded a penalty in the 25th minute and Carrusca stepped up to send Andrew Redmayne the wrong way and give Adelaide a one-goal lead.
Heart looked to hit back through Mebrahtu minutes later, but his effort was tipped wide by an alert Galekovic.
Adelaide struck again in the 33rd minute after a clever pass from Cirio set up Carrusca and he swept a shot past Redmayne for his side's second.
Aloisi made two changes at the break, substituting Mebrahtu and Retre for Italian Andrea Migliorini and Iain Ramsay and Heart began to build a number of chances.
The Red and White hit back in the 64th minute after a goal-mouth scramble, with Williams burying a chance at the second bite of the cherry.
Aziz Behich had created an opportunity from the left with an awkwardly deflected cross that was parried onto the bar by Galekovic.
The Adelaide stopper denied Williams' first follow up - a close-range header - before Heart's number 15 finally swept home from close range.
Williams had a golden opportunity four minutes later to equalise but the winger dragged his effort just wide after being sent through on goal by Schroen.
Patrick Kisnorbo had a half-chance in the dying minutes following a Hoffman cross, but it finished 2-1 to the visitors.
Melbourne Heart faces a Peninsula XI side in the Club’s final pre-season hit-out at 3pm on Sunday 29 September 2013.
Match DetailsFriday 27 September 2013Melbourne Heart FC 1 (David Williams 64')Adelaide United 2 (Marcelo Carrusca 26' [PEN], 33')Epping Soccer Stadium
Melbourne Heart FC Starting XI: 20. Andrew Redmayne, 6. Patrick Gerhardt (David Vrankovic 73’), 8. Massimo Murdocca (C), 14. Golgol Mebrahtu (Andrea Migliorini 46’), 15. David Williams, 16. Aziz Behich, 17. Jason Hoffman, 21. Patrick Kisnorbo, 23. Mate Dugandzic, 28. Paul Retre (Iain Ramsay 46’), 31. Marcus SchroenSubstitutes not used: 24. Sam Mitchinson, 25. Jeremy Walker, 1. Tando Velaphi (GK)Yellow Cards: Massimo Murdocca 30’, Patrick Gerhardt 50’, Aziz Behich 71’Red Cards: Nil
Adelaide United FC Starting XI: 1. Eugene Galekovic (GK), 2. Brent McGrath (Osama Malik 61'), 3. Nigel Boogard, 4. Jon McKain, 8. Isaias, 9. Sergio Cirio (Tarek Elrich 46'), 10. Marcelo Carrusca (Jake Barker-Daish 69’), 12. Steven Lustica, 16. Daniel Bowles, 18. Michael Zullo (Jordan Elsey 67’), 22. Fabio FerreiraSubstitutes not used: 20. Paul IzzoYellow Cards: Isaias 20’Red Cards: Nil