Melbourne Heart secured three points against its city rival Melbourne Victory with a pulsating 2-1 win at Etihad Stadium
John Aloisi made a dream start to his career as Head Coach of Melbourne Heart, leading his side to a 2-1 win over city rival Melbourne Victory in a enthralling round one Hyundai A-League season opener last night.
In front of a crowd of 42,032 at Etihad Stadium, Heart secured all three points through first-half goals from David Williams and man of the match Dylan Macallister to spoil Ange Postecoglou’s debut at the helm of Victory.
Heart debutant Richard Garcia fired an early warning shot over the bar for Heart in the early exchanges to set the tone of the match, as a confident Heart outfit tested its opponent from the outset.
Williams drew first blood for the Red and White in the 14th minute, driving a left-footed shot past Lawrence Thomas in the Victory goal, following a lobbed through-ball from Garcia to the back post.
A lapse in midfield allowed Victory to equalise in the 24th minute through Marco Rojas, who tucked home Archie Thompson’s dangerous low cross after a quick break through the midfield, orchestrated by Marcos Flores.
Heart could have recovered its lead but Garcia and Williams were denied on separate occasions by Victory keeper Lawrence Thomas.
Heart survived two quick-fire scares as Gui Finkler curled an effort just wide of Clint Bolton’s goal, before
Victory almost snatched a 2-1 half-time lead when Flores struck the upright on the stroke of half-time.
But Heart stuck the decisive blow, as Macallister popped up two minutes into first-half injury time to slam home in what proved to be the winner from Mate Dugandzic’s low cross.
Aloisi had opted to start Macallister ahead of striker Josip Tadic and the move paid dividends.
Heart continued to carve chance after chance in the second period, with Macallister turning an effort wide, before low Williams effort was tipped out by Thomas.
Williams was then denied twice in one-on-one situations with Thomas, before Heart ran down the clock to secure a crucial three points.
Melbourne Victory 1 (Marco Rojas 24′)
Melbourne Heart 2 (David Williams 14′, Dylan Macallister 45+2′)
Crowd: 42,032 at Etihad Stadium