A Jeronimo Neumann goal was enough for Adelaide United to see off a dogged Melbourne Heart at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Adelaide United consolidated their top-two standing on the Hyundai A-League ladder with a workmanlike 1-0 victory over Melbourne Heart at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday.
Star striker Jeronimo Neumann slotted a goal for the Reds in the 58th minute – his fifth this season – to deny first-year Heart coach John Aloisi in his home state.
Some friendly fire three minutes in following a head collision between team-mates Michael Marrone and Simon Colosimo saw the Heart down to nine men momentarily as the pair went off for treatment.
From close range a minute later, Argentine duo Marcelo Carrusca and Neumann were denied by some desperate scrambling from veteran Melbourne stopper Clint Bolton.
Meanwhile, the impressive Richard Garcia pushed high repeatedly and showed his class, while skipper Matt Thompson and Jason Hoffman were doing their best to hold Heart’s midfield together.
Thompson gave Melbourne their best first-half chance, breaking to the left in the 35th minute, but his miscue was comfortably mopped up by Adelaide custodian Eugene Galekovic.
Three minutes later, the Reds missed a golden opportunity to break the deadlock.
After a Colosimo defensive error, Jeronimo, who had been relatively quiet, had a shot which Bolton just got his outstretched right hand to.
In the 45th minute, Jeronimo pulled the trigger again, driving a fierce ball just wide before Evan Kostopoulos, in time added on, unleashed a shot from the flank which whizzed past Bolton’s right post.
The signs were better for the visitors early in the second half with Garcia twice cutting inside the box and getting behind Adelaide’s defence, but despite his efforts the deadlock remained.
United weathered the brief Heart storm and resumed control with Jeronimo working his way into the contest.
The home side took the lead in the 58th minute courtesy of an uncharacteristic defensive blunder from seasoned central defender Colosimo.
Adelaide United 1 (Jeronimo 58)
Melbourne Heart 0
@ Hindmarsh Stadium, 17/11/2012