Melbourne Heart started their Foxtel National Youth League campaign with a 1-0 win over Perth Glory at Intiga Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Ersin Kaya scored the winner in the 33rd minute when he finished off a well-worked piece of play down the right hand side that started with a clever back heel from Hernan Espindola and was established through a series of slick passes.
The Glory's best chance of the match fell to Ndumba Makeche after 55 minutes when he got in behind the Heart defence but Marko Stevanja rushed out and made a sharp save to deny the Perth marksman.
Aleksandar Jovic also blew an attempted Perth equaliser when he blasted a close range shot over the bar after Adrian Zahra had cut to the byline and rolled it back for him.
Perth Left-back Riley Woodcock got forward and slipped a ball across the face of goal as Perth pushed for a late equaliser but no one in purple was waiting for the pass.
The Heart's win could have been more comfortable had goal scorer Kaya and substitute Joseph Katebian not missed two shots early in the second half.
First, Kaya got in behind Perth's defence and past 'keeper Luke Radonich only to spray his shot from the tight angle wide of the open target.
Katebian then forced a good save from Radonich when a Glory defensive mix-up presented a shot from 15 yards to him.
Perth had started the match as the better of the two teams with a couple of clear-cut chances in the opening 10 minutes and the lion share of the possession.
Adrian Zahra set up both chances and looked particularly dangerous on the right against his former club.
Zahra also the man who came closest to scoring for Perth in the first half when he forced Stevanja to make a full-length save from a dead ball situation on the edge of the 18-yard box.
However, Heart worked their way back into the match and took control after their goal.
Jonathon Bounas went close to doubling their lead on the stroke of half-time when he volleyed a bouncing ball first-time just over the bar.
STATISTICS?Foxtel National Youth League?Round 1
Melbourne Heart 1 (Ersin KAYA 33')
Perth Glory: 1. Luke RADONICH (GK), 2. Joshua TUCKER (13. Jack OLDHAM 57'), 3. David STOKOE (15.XScott ROBERTSON 57'), 4. Mark BARNETT, 5. Riley WOODCOCK, 6. Blamo QUA QUA, 7. Adrian ZAHRA, 8. Jacob COLLARD, 9. Ndumba MAKECHE (14. Harry O'BRIEN 57'), 10. Aleksandar JOVIC, 11. Joseph KNOWLES,
Melbourne Heart: 1. Marko STEVANJA (GK), 2. Ersin KAYA, 3. Philip PETRESKI, 4. Andrew MULLETT, 5. Ross ARCHIBALD, 6. Alexander DAO, 7. Hernan ESPINDOLA (15. Leo ATHANASIOU 58'), 10. Marcus SCHROEN, 11. Jonathan BOUNAS (8. Joseph KATEBIAN 50'), 12. Matthew MILLAR, 14. Tyles JAMES (13. Baki EFE 58').
YELLOW CARDS: 6. Alexander DAO, 6. Blamo QUA QUA,
RED CARDS 6. Blamo QUA QUA