Carle seals late draw


Melbourne Heart remain anchored to the bottom of the Hyundai A-League table following Saturday night’s 1-1 draw with Sydney FC at AAMI Park.

Melbourne Heart remain anchored to the bottom of the Hyundai A-League table following Saturday night’s 1-1 draw with Sydney FC at AAMI Park.

The hosts were entitled to believe they’d scored their first win for the season when substitute striker Maycon put them ahead in the 85th minute.

But, for the second week running, Nicky Carle came up with a vital late goal to earn the Sky Blues a point.

The clock had ticked over 93 minutes when Carle turned Pascal Bosschaart’s low cross past Clint Bolton in the Melbourne goal.

Maycon scored in the 85th minute after coming on as a substitute seven minutes earlier for Wayne Srhoj.

Surrounded by four Sydney defenders in a crowded box, the Brazilian swivelled on his left leg and shot low to the left of Liam Reddy.

Genuine scoring chances were otherwise at a premium in the match played on a greasy pitch.

Rain swept across the ground from virtually the opening whistle and didn’t let up.

Referee Chris Beath handed out seven yellow cards which probably had more to do with the difficult conditions than a general lack of discipline.

Heart went in with the same line-up that held Victory to a scoreless draw in last week’s Melbourne derby while Sydney – coming off a 2-1 win over Adelaide United – were strengthened by the return of Liam Reddy in goal and striker Mark Bridge for Ivan Necevski and Bruno Cazarine respectively.

Sydney had more of the ball in the first half, but the hosts had the better opportunities.

The best of those came in the 14th minute when Alex Terra picked out Matt Thompson at the top of the box with a deft lob.

The stand-in skipper’s long, looping header was goal-bound but safely tipped over the bar by Reddy.

The ‘keeper’s handling let him down from the ensuing corner but Terry Antonis was on hand at the far post to clear off the line.

Seven minutes on, a weak Bosschaart back-header gifted Alex Terra a sight of goal but the Brazilian’s attempt to chip Reddy had far too much weight.

Terra was back in the thick of it in the 36th-minute when he copped a heavy body check from former teammate Michael Beauchamp, but his plea for a penalty was waved away by referee Beath.

Sydney’s best chance came on the stroke of half-time when Carle was clipped on the edge of the box by Simon Colosimo.

However Scott Jamieson’s attempt to place the ball in the top corner from the free kick was never close.

Heart thought they had it won after Maycon’s heroics but paid a heavy price for their failure to take control of the last-minute goalmouth scramble the led to Carle’s equaliser.

Heart’s next assignment is against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh next Friday night while Sydney FC host Gold Coast United the following Sunday.

Melbourne Heart 1 (Maycon, 85)
Sydney FC 1 (Carle 93)
Crowd: 5,666 at AAMI Park, Melbourne