A last-gasp goal from substitute Andrew Cartanos gave Melbourne Heart a 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar in an entertaining National Youth League match at John Cain Memorial Park on Saturday.
After going ahead in the opening minute thanks to a Zac Walker strike, the Heart were made to pay for some wasteful finishing when Do Dong-Hyun levelled the scores in the 22nd minute.
Both sides had chances to win the game in the closing stages and it was Cartanos who made his count, scoring in the 93rd minute to give Heart the win.
The result ensures the Heart move ahead of Brisbane on the Youth League table and stay within striking distance of league leaders and cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory.
The home side enjoyed a perfect start to the game with a goal inside the opening minute after Brisbane were caught on the counter attack. Picking up possession in midfield, Nicholas Epifano was able to play a precise through ball to Walker who deftly chipped an on-rushing Nicholas Tubbs.
The goal gave the Heart confidence and they were unlucky not to score another when pacey winger Golgol Mebrathu saw his one-on-one effort with Tubbs saved.
The Ivorian then had another great opportunity to score after he was once again played through on goal but his shot was hooked off the line brilliantly by Kenneth Dougall.
Despite the early set-back, Brisbane were slowly able to work themselves back into the game with winger Do looking particularly dangerous.
And it was the South Korean who levelled the scores in the 22nd minute following a long pass out of defence by Yuji Takahashi. Do was able to control the ball before shrugging off Jeremy Walker and scoring past Alastair Bray from a tight angle.
The goal gave the away side momentum and they began to dominate the game, with a brilliant double save from Bray in the 40th minute, to first deny Do and then Anthony Proia, keeping the scores level at half-time.
The second half was a much scrappier affair with neither side able to enjoy any meaningful possession of the ball in the opening stages.
Heart had the half’s most meaningful chance in the 70th minute after substitute Evangelos Batsis found himself with time to turn in the box but his shot was just wide of Tubbs' far post.
The opportunity seemed to spark the game into life with Brisbane immediately going down the other end to create a chance of their own through Proia but his shot from inside the box was hit straight at Bray.
Three minutes later the ever-present Do forged another chance for his side after cutting in from the left before playing a brilliant reverse ball to Jordan Lambi but he couldn't find a way past Bray who saved well.
Do soon had a chance to score himself after another brilliant run left him with only Bray to beat from a tight angle but his shot was turned away for a corner.
The game appeared to be heading towards a draw before a marauding run from Cartanos saw him beat several Roar defenders and get inside the box before unleashing a driven shot from the tightest of angles to score a brilliant winner for the Heart.
The win is Heart's second of the season and ensures they stay within three points of leaders Melbourne Victory while Brisbane remain on three points as they continue to search for their second win.
Melbourne Heart 2 (Walker 1, Cartanos 93)
Brisbane Roar 1 (Do 22)
Melbourne Heart: 1. Alastair Bray 2. Jeremy Walker 4. Andrew Mullet 5. William Abbott 6. Joshua Groenewald (c) 8. Pablo Retre (Evangelos Batsis 84) 9. Zac Walker (Ersin Kaya 60) 10. Nicholas Epifano 11. Golgol Mebrathu (Andrew Cartanos 60) 12. Philip Petreski 14. Stipo Andrijasevic
Brisbane Roar: 1. Nicholas Tubbs 2. James Donachie 3. Cameron Crestani 5. George Lambadaridis (Lachlan Jackson 53) 6. Ross Archibald (c) 7. Doag Hyan Do 8. Yuji Takahashi 10. Kwame Yeboah (9. Benjamin Litfin 15) 11. Brandon Borrello (Jordan Lambi 53) 13. Kenneth Dougall 14. Anthony Proia