Melbourne Heart 0 Melbourne Victory 0
Melbourne Heart and Melbourne Victory played out a scoreless draw at AAMI Park on Saturday night in front of 26,395 noisy and appreciative fans.
The result did neither side’s hopes of making the finals much good, but Heart had the better of the game, while Victory was relieved to have held on for the draw after Grant Brebner was sent off in the second half.
In a tight competitive first half, Melbourne Heart had the bulk of the play and most of the chances, but it finished goal-less.
The closest Heart came to goal was a Kristian Sarkies free kick which found Jonatan Germano whose cross shot caused mayhem in the Victory area and Wayne Shroj headed against the bar.
In the 25th minute Marco Rojas put Jean Carlos Solorzano away behind the defence and his final shot just crept wide of the post.
Heart gave a first start to Craig Goodwin who looked very lively on the left wing, beating another youngster Petar Franjic who was played out of position at right back.
Franjic, to his credit, lifted his game in the second half and kept his opponent at bay for much of that period, although Goodwin had one rasping volley which almost brought a goal as Ante Covic at full stretch pushed it away for a corner kick.
Victory had its best spell of the game early in the second half.
It was as if it had played its usual poor second half before the interval and now was embarking on its lively regular opening.
The one ineffectual Victory players was Harry Kewell and it was really no surprise when coach Jim Magilton replaced him with Danny Allsopp on the hour mark.
Allsopp injected some more life into the Victory attack, but though Jean Carlos Solorzano was convinced he had scored and rushed to the fans to celebrate, the offside flag had been correctly raised before he put the ball in the net.
Heart substitute David Williams robbed his opponent and sprinted towards goal then laid the ball into the path of Kristian Sarkies who had the goal at his mercy.
But the midfielder leant back and fired the ball high over the bar.
That was a bad and costly miss.
Sarkies partially attoned with a good corner kick which gave Jonaton Germano a free header on the edge of the goal area, but the midfielder was off target with his effort.
So the game eventually petered out in the draw which left both teams with a lot to do in the final seven games to reach the play-offs.
John van’t Schip thought Heart had most of the play, the possession and the chances in the first half, but bemoaned the number of simple balls given away in attacking areas. We have to be more sure and determined in our play he argued.
He was delighted that his selection of Craig Goodwin for his debut in a big game had been more than vindicated by the youngster’s performance, though he cautioned, that players often have excellent debuts, but it is following up with consistent performances which is hallmark of a good player in the making.
Jim Magilton was not happy that Victory still has not recorded a win since he took over, but relieved that they had not conceded bragging rights to the cross-town neighbour. ‘You never want to lose a derby match,’ he said with feeling.
Saturday, 4 February 2012
Melbourne Heart 0 Melbourne Victory 0
Venue: AAMI Park
Local kick-off: 7:45pm
Referees: Jarred Gillet
Assistant referees: David Walsh and Nathan MacDonald
Fourth official: Alex Azcurra
1.Clint Bolton , 2.Michael Marrone, 4.Simon Colosimo, 7.Rutger Worm, 8.Kristian Sarkies, 10.Wayne Srhoj (26.Paul Reid 79’), 11.Alex Terra (15.David Williams 70’), 13.Jonatan Germano, 18.Curtis Good, 19.Eli Babalj, 27.Craig Goodwin,
Unused substitutes: 30.Sebastian Mattei, 3.Brendan Hamill
Yellow cards: Wayne Shroj 30’, Rutger Worm 71’
Red cards: Nil
21. Ante Covic (GK), 3. Fabio, 4. Petar Franjic, 5.Mark Milligan, 6. Leigh Broxham, 8. Grant Brebner, 9. Jean Carlos Solorzano (16.Carlos Hernandez 71’), 10. Archie Thompson, 11. Marco Rojas, 22. Harry Kewell (18. Danny Allsopp, 61’) 23. Adrian Leijer
Unused substitutes: 1.Tando Velaphi, 12. Rodrigo Vargas
Yellow cards: Grant Brebner 34’
Red cards: Grant Brebner 75’