Melbourne Heart 3 – Newcastle Jets 0
Three second half goals finally gave Melbourne Heart the breakthrough they have so narrowly missed so far this season in a 3-0 defeat of Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park. Though less than 6000 turned up to watch the A-League’s last place side host the second place Jets, those who did manage to go were treated to an interesting and attacking match from both sides. Despite finishing the first half scoreless, bot sides had good looks at the goal, with the home side coming closest on more than one occasion. Yet it was a goal from Fred (pictured) that opened the match up for Heart as he calmly blasted a shot after substitute Eli Barbalj did the hard work in the box. Fred’s 66th minute goal was quickly followed by Mate Dugandžić doubling the advantage when he collected a disastrous back pass from Tarek Elrich and easily beat Ben Kennedy in the 73rd. The rout was confirmed in the 85th minute when Aziz Behich, one of the best players on the pitch all night, created a shot for himself from the left side of the box and wonderfully curled the ball past Kennedy. The win was the first of the season for Heart though it does extend their unbeaten streak to four games. Meanwhile, the loss is a disappointing one for the Jets as they continue to work their way into the season under new, old manager Gary van Egmond.
Central Coast Mariners 0 – Melbourne Victory 0
A scoreless draw saw Melbourne Victory pick up another clean sheet, this time behind teenaged goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas at Bluetongue in Gosford. Yet the Victory were also kept from scoring for the fourth time this season in their third 0-0 match in six weeks, this time by Matt Ryan. Thomas watched thankfully as Central Coast’s Daniel McBreen’s first half header hit both the crossbar and the post near the half-hour after Rodrigo Vargas had cleared an earlier shot off the line. Late on, both Adrian Leijer and Troy Hearfield had excellent chances go begging as neither side could figure out a way to score. The shared points keep both sides within the realm of finals football, but just.
Perth Glory 0 – Sydney FC 1
And Sydney FC climbed all the way to second place by taking three points from Perth Glory at the nib Stadium. Mark Bridge scored in first half injury time as the Sky Blues spoiled Perth’s 15th anniversary celebration as Nicky Carle contributed the winning assist, marking the third straight game where his touch has given points for Sydney. Goalkeeper Liam Reddy was back in top form as he kept the visitors ahead during a second half barrage including saves against Bas van den Brink, Liam Miller and Danny Vukovic. The Glory’s Adam Hughes smashed the crossbar while Travis Dodd, Shane Smeltz and Mile Sterjovski all came agonizingly close for the home side during a frantic second half. In the end, Perth remain on nine points, now having lost their last three games. Sydney, after a slow start, are second only to Brisbane Roar at the top of the ladder.