Melbourne Heart lifted the Craig Foster Cup in Lismore with a penalty-shoot-out victory over Western Sydney Wanderers.
Melbourne Heart whetted its appetite for the new A-League season with a penalty shoot-out victory over Western Sydney Wanderers to lift the Craig Foster Cup last night.
Locked in a scoreless draw after 90 minutes in the Wanderers- first-hit out against an A-League opponent, Heart was flawless from the spot to triumph 5-3 against this season-s newcomers.
Heart-s latest signing Richard Garcia donned the Red and White for the first time this season, while John Aloisi fielded a strong first 11 that threatened the Wanderers on a number of occasions, but couldn’t find a way past Wanderers keeper Jerrad Tyson.
Andrew Redmayne, Michael Marrone, Patrick Gerhardt, Steven Gray, Aziz Behich, Matthew Thompson, Garcia, Fred, Mate Dugandzic, Dylan Macallister and David Williams constituted the Heart-s starting line-up.
While Wanderers wanted to impress in its debut against an A-League opponent, Heart came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first period, with Williams turning home the rebound from a Jerrad Tyson save in the Wanderers goal, but it was scratched out for offside.
Both sides continued to create openings but could’t capitalise in front of goal and with silverware on the line, the match was forced into a penalty shoot-out.
Heart converted its five chances while Wanderers fluffed two of its kicks, giving Heart the perfect way to cap off a fruitful week-long camp in Lismore.
“In terms of building the team, it-s been a great opportunity to condition the team physically and tactically for the season,” Didulica said.
“The visit itself has been exceptional. We have worked with junior players Monday night, elite players on Wednesday night and wrapped other appearances around the training schedule.
“We have invested a fair bit of time integrating into the local football community who have been exceptional, as well as the council. The football community here is extensive and passionate so it-s been a pleasure to have interacted with them.”