Melbourne Heart FC’s unbeaten run came to a halt this afternoon after a 0-2 loss against Perth Glory
Melbourne Heart’s promising start to the 2012/13 Hyundai A-League campaign suffered a setback this afternoon, as John Aloisi’s side succumbed to a goal in each half against Perth Glory.
Goals from Dean Heffernan and Billy Mehmet gave last year’s grand finalists a 2-0 victory and ensured Heart’s curse at nib Stadium continued.
With Simon Colosimo suspended and David Williams recovering from a gastro bug that kept him out of last Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Wellington Phoenix, teenager David Vrankovic was promoted, while Josip Tadic started on the bench.
Heart started energetically, as they had in their opening two encounters, and they fashioned an early chance when Mate Dugandzic was floored by Michael Thwaite outside the box.
Williams drove the resulting free-kick low into the area, where captain Fred lifted the ball with a sliding shot over the bar from six yards out.
Clint Bolton had been called into action and produced a superb double save prior to that chance and Heart did well to absorb a period of pressure from a well-drilled Perth outfit smarting from last week’s 0-1 loss against Central Coast Mariners.
But the turning point came when a stray finger from Thwaite caught Fred’s eye and the Heart skipper required thorough medical treatment in the 35th minute.
Three minutes later Glory squeezed a corner past the near post, which Heffernan tucked past Bolton in the 38th minute.
In a blow for Heart, Fred was removed at half-time due to the injury sustained to his right eye and was seen wearing a preventative eye-patch on the sidelines.
Tadic came in to strengthen Heart’s attack, but it was debutante central defender Vrankovic who caused Glory cause for concern just after the restart, when he volleyed Dugandzic’s cross across the face of goal.
Heart were caught out five minutes from time when Mehmet headed in from a corner to seal the points for Perth.
Perth Glory 2 (Heffernan 38, Mehmet 85)
Melbourne Heart 0
Crowd: 7,548 at nib Stadium, Perth