Heart sink to new low
by Tomasz Ng:
Hyundai A-League 2013/14, Round 6
7:30pm, Friday 15 November – AAMI Park, Melbourne
Melbourne Heart 0
Sydney FC 2
(Alessandro Del Piero 27’ pen, Joel Chianese 45’+1)
Sydney FC secured their second win over a Melbourne club in the space of a week, beating a listless Heart 2-0 at AAMI Park on Friday night.
First half goals to Alessandro Del Piero and Joel Chianese were enough to see Sydney over the line, but in truth the scoreline could have been more comprehensive.
Pressure had been mounting on Heart boss John Aloisi going into this game, and he made two changes to try and curb the poor run of results.
Iain Ramsay made way for Nick Kalmar, meaning David Williams shifted to the left wing, while Gol Gol Mebrahtu was replaced by Mate Dugandzic.
It failed to have a desired effect as Sydney dominated proceedings in the first period.
Their front three of Richard Garcia, Chris Naumoff and Chianese were finding spaces in behind the Heart defence, with Del Piero pulling the strings in the number 10 role.
Sydney almost got off to the perfect start in the second minute, when Seb Ryall headed an Ali Abbas corner just wide, perhaps distracted by Emerton who ducked out at the last second.
Michael Mifsud tried to keep Sydney honest as he managed to get a couple of chances to shoot at goal, but his finishing was poor.
Janjetovic saved his first shot on goal in the 14th minute, while he fashioned a half chance on 18 minutes only to sky the ball high and wide.
Sydney made him pay for his profligacy, and had a host of chances before going ahead.
First Del Piero hit the crossbar with a sumptuous free kick, then Chianese latched onto a Garcia through ball but Redmayne was there to smother the shot.
The first goal finally came as the lively Chianese burst into the box and had his legs taken from under him by Robbie Wielart, resulting in a penalty.
While Heart disputed the decision, the referee had no doubt that Wielart had not won the ball.
Del Piero then sent Redmayne the wrong way from the spot to give Sydney a lead they thoroughly deserved.
Five minutes later, young gun Naumoff in his first start for Sydney FC almost notched his first goal for the club, as he hit the crossbar from an angle after being played in by Ali Abbas.
Sydney were beginning to turn the screws, but just couldn’t finish the job.
Nick Carle was also guilty of missing chances, as Chianese set him up with a simple one on one with Redmayne, but Carle shot straight at the keeper, and sent the rebound into the side netting.
They did finally score just before the break however, as Chianese got the goal his performance deserved.
Abbas who had been industrious in the left back slot all evening sent in a teasing cross which evaded Garcia, and found Chianese at the back post, having ghosted past a sleeping Aziz Behich.
There was plenty for Aloisi to ponder at half time, this being without a doubt the worst 45 minutes Heart have produced this season.
He took off Nick Kalmar for Iain Ramsay but things did not improve in the second half as Heart continued to waste possession and hard earned chances.
It was Chianese once again with the first shot of the second half on the hour, but he was unable to turn Pedj Bojic’s cross in.
The crowd became restless and chants of “Aloisi Out” sounded from the terraces.
Aziz Behich failed to make things better on 62 minutes, as his shot was saved by Janjetovic at his near post, after the left back had made one of his few bursts into the box.
Aloisi sensed the need for change, and sent on Mebrahtu for Dugandzic who was having a night to forget and Stefan Mauk on for Jeremy Walker, adding more firepower up front.
But while Heart swung in ball after ball from the flanks, becoming increasingly direct in their approach, Sydney always had numbers in the box to deal with any threats.
Perhaps telling the story of the night, both Mifsud and Mebrahtu were free in the box, but were unable to get shots in with their backs to goal.
By now, the noise around the ground was all directed at Aloisi, who after this result, is surely under huge pressure to turn things around against Newcastle at Hunter Stadium next week, a tall order considering their away record.
1. Andrew Redmayne [GK], 2. Jeremy Walker (21. Stefan Mauk +77’), 3. Robbie Wielart (c), 6. Patrick Gerhardt, 16. Aziz Behich, 28. Paulo Retre, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 22. Nick Kalmar (7. Iain Ramsay +46’), 23. Mate Dugandzic (14. Gol Gol Mebrahtu +63’), 11. Michael Mifsud, 15. David Williams
Unused Substitutes: 20. Tando Velaphi [GK], 18. David Vrankovic
Yellow Cards: Mifsud 26’, Ramsay 67’, Gerhardt 80’, Williams 88’
Red Cards: Nil
20. Vedran Janjetovic [GK], 8. Pedj Bojic (15. Terry McFlynn +80’), 2. Sebastian Ryall, 6. Nikola Petkovic, 22. Ali Abbas, 7. Brett Emerton (5. Matthew Jurman +65’), 19. Nick Carle, 10. Alessandro Del Piero (c), 16. Joel Chianese (21. Yairo Yau +83’), 27. Chris Naumoff, 11. Richard Garcia
Unused Substitutes: 30. Anthony Bouzanis, 29. Alex Urosevski
Yellow Cards: Emerton 47’, Abbas 58’, McFlynn 90’
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Alan Milliner
Assistants: George Lakrindis, Jonathan Barreiro, Alex Azcurra
Pitch Rating: 10/10
Game Rating: 7.5/10
3. Joel Chianese
2. Ali Abbas
1. Alessandro Del Piero
By Tomasz Ng