Melbourne Heart FC’s Hyundai A-League finals aspirations remain alive despite a 2-1 loss to Brisbane Roar at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast.
Melbourne Heart FC-s Hyundai A-League finals aspirations remain alive despite a 2-1 loss to Brisbane Roar at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast.
Despite creating a number of scoring opportunities, Heart was made to rue its wastefulness in front of goal as strikes from Roar-s Jean Carlos Solorzano and James Meyer put the away side to the sword.
A late effort from Gerald Sibon breathed life into the encounter, sparking hopes of grabbing a deserved draw from the encounter, but it proved to be not enough as Brisbane broke the record for the longest undefeated streak in Hyundai A-League/NSL history.
Head Coach John van ‘t Schip was philosophical after match, conceded Heart was ultimately defeated by a stronger side.
“We’ve played the Roar three times and lost three times so they are the better team, it’s a fact. We had our chances, they had theirs,” he said.
“It’s difficult every time you come behind and it’s a problem we’ve had in the past few games. Today it wasn’t enough.”
Following a cagey opening, Heart found itself on the back foot after just five minutes as Mitch Nichols played an incisive ball through to Roar attacker Solorzano, who sped in goal before expertly angling a shot past Clint Bolton to hand the home side the lead.
Nichols had a chance to double Roar-s advantage soon after but his effort went wide as Melbourne soon asserted itself on the contest.
With a win vital to boosting the Club-s hopes of a finals appearance on debut, Heart went on the attack, taking the game to the league leaders as the side wrested control of the midfield, swinging the balance of the match.
Sibon was first to test the Roar ‘keeper Michael Theoklitos as he launched a long range attempt before flashing a volley just wide soon after.
John Aloisi then went close with a volley which forced a stellar save from Theoklitos after a wonderfully whipped ball from Josip Skoko.
Heart-s insurgence on the Roar goal continued immediately after the interval as Aloisi once again forced Theoklitos into action.
However, the Red and White-s suffered a blow in the 63rd minute as Meyer pounced on a slide rule pass from German import Thomas Broich before applying the finish.
Sibon clawed a goal back with 15 minutes remaining to reignite Heart-s hopes of salvaging a point from the contest, as the away side embarked on a trademark late assault.
Aloisi could have equalised in the dying minutes of the contest, but Theoklitos once again came to Roar-s rescue to ensure his side moved one step closer to claiming the Premier-s Plate.