Melbourne Heart FC succumbed to a second-half Jamie Maclaren strike at nib Stadium this afternoon, as Perth Glory recorded a 1-0 win over the Red and White in Round Three of the Hyundai A-League.
Maclaren’s effort came in the 51st minute, and while John Aloisi’s side managed to create a number of chances to equalise, Maclaren’s goal proved the difference as Heart suffered its first loss of the 2013-14 campaign.
Melbourne Heart came into the match on the back of two draws and a promising performance against the Central Coast Mariners, but it was Perth who looked to cause the visitors problems early as Glory struck the crossbar through Sidnei Moraes in the eighth minute.
A minute later Patrick Kisnorbo headed agonisingly wide for the Heart from an Andrea Migliorini set piece, but it proved a rare chance in a cagey opening 45 minutes.
Kisnorbo was later forced to clear a Glory attack with a strong diving header, as the home side pushed for the opener, before Scott Jamieson curled an effort onto the crossbar on the half-hour mark for the home side.
Golgol Mebrahtu found space to shoot on the stroke of half-time, but he fired wide of Danny Vukovic’s goal, as both sides headed into the interval at 0-0.
Unfortunately for Heart, Glory came out firing five minutes into the second half and Maclaren took advantage of a slip from Kisnorbo, beating the defender for pace and then firing a shot into Andrew Redmayne’s chest, before burying the rebound for the only goal of the game.
The Red and White pressed for an equaliser and went close 12 minutes later as Mebrahtu’s free kick was initially blocked by the Perth wall, only for Migliorini to collect the rebound and hit a great effort inches wide of Vukovic’s upright.
Michael Mifsud, in his debut for Melbourne Heart, had his first sniff at goal in the 65th minute, controlling a header from Mebrahtu and forcing a save from Vukovic with a neat volley.
Mebrahtu then had the chance to latch onto Migliorini’s cross in the 69th minute, but Vukovic collected before the striker could pounce.
Time proved Heart’s greatest enemy as the clock ticked down and Perth held onto possession, before David Williams’ late effort forced a full-stretch save from Vukovic in the third minute of extra time.
Melbourne Heart travel to Queensland next weekend to face Brisbane Roar.
Match DetailsHyundai A-League Round ThreePerth Glory 1 (Jamie Maclaren 51’)Melbourne Heart FC 0nib StadiumReferee: Kris Griffith-JonesAttendance: 13,856
Perth Glory Starting XI: 1. Danny VUKOVIC (GK), 4. Ryan EDWARDS, 5. Steve PANTELIDIS, 7. Jacob BURNS, 8. Ryo NAGAI (17. Chris HAROLD 76’), 10. Jamie MACLAREN (20. Daniel DE SILVA 72’), 14. Steven MCGARRY, 21. Scott JAMIESON, 23. Michael THWAITE, 24. Matthew DAVIESSubstitutes not used: 3. Brandon O’NEILL, 6. Cameron EDWARDS, 18. Jack DUNCANYellow Cards: NilRed Cards: Nil
Melbourne Heart FC Starting XI: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 3. Robbie WIELAERT, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 7. Iain RAMSAY, 11. Michael MIFSUD, 14. Golgol MEBRAHTU (23. Mate DUGANZDIC 76’), 15. David WILLIAMS, 16. Aziz BEHICH (21. Stefan MAUK 86’), 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 24. Patrick KISNORBO (6. Patrick Gerhardt 52’), 25. Andrea MIGLIORINISubstitutes not used: 20. Tando VELAPHI (GK), 28. Paolo RETREYellow cards: NilRed Cards: Nil