Heart Extends Unbeaten Run To Five Matches

Melbourne Heart FC has extended its unbeaten run to five matches after the side was held to a 1-1 draw by Gold Coast United at AAMI Park.

Melbourne Heart FC has extended its unbeaten run to five matches after the side was held to a 1-1 draw by Gold Coast United at AAMI Park.

Following his overhead wonder strike against Perth Glory last week, Brazilian star Alex Terra continued his rich vein of form with another stellar effort to send Heart into the lead early in the first half.

But an equaliser from Socceroo Bruce Djite just before the break ensured the points would be shared, despite Heart-s valiant second half surge to claim victory.

Head Coach John van ‘t Schip said: “I prefer to look at this game as two points dropped as we wanted to win this game to keep the pressure on our rivals on the ladder.

“It-s a game we wanted to win, but after looking at the whole game, I think the 1-1 was ok. We didn-t keep the ball as we wanted, there were a lot of unforced errors and that was the problem.

“Every game for us now is big and if we-d won (this evening) we would still have to win the Derby on Saturday night. It-s a six-point game.”

With securing a result crucial to the Club-s finals aspirations, Heart made a strong start to the contest, immediately asserting control of the midfield as the side sought to make early progress against the travelling Gold Coast outfit.

Fielding a revamped formation featuring Matt Thompson in an advanced midfield role, Heart-s approach appeared to pay dividends early on, creating space for the likes of Terra and Gerald Sibon to weave their magic in the final third of the park.

And the import duo duly combined after 17 minutes to send Heart into the lead, as Sibon-s cushioned header played Terra through on goal.

With only United-s Glen Moss to beat, the diminutive attacker proceeded to prod the bouncing ball over the advancing ‘keeper before delicately applying the finish for his fourth goal of the campaign.

Replacing the rested Josip Skoko in the Heart starting eleven, Kristian Sarkies was instrumental to Heart-s early dominance, with his cool-headed distribution ensuring the home side maintained the tempo throughout the opening period.
But Heart-s hard-fought lead was soon dashed on 40 minutes, with Bruce Djite punishing Melbourne on the break, cutting into the area before his low driving effort was deflected home.

Despite Gold Coast drawing level though, Heart weren-t to be deterred, controlling possession as Terra and Thompson continued to probe the United defence with dangerous runs and interplay in the attacking half of the ground.

Introduced with just over half an hour to play, John Aloisi-s arrival sparked a further period of dominance for the home side, with the Socceroo legend providing headaches for the away side through his strength and innate sense for goal.

And it was indeed that trademark awareness inside the 18-yard box which nearly saw Aloisi send Heart into the lead, forcing Moss into a strong save.

Terra, whose presence continued to trouble the away side, then went close minutes later, nearly improving upon his spectacular effort from the weekend with an acrobatic, mid-air striker which was once again well handled by Moss.

Gold Coast worked its way back into the contest during the dying minutes of the match, with golden opportunities falling to Shane Smeltz and Andrew Barisic in injury time.

Match Details
Melbourne Heart FC 1 (Alex TERRA 17′)
Gold Coast United 1 (Bruce DJITE 40′)
AAMI Park, Melbourne