Huysegems strike the difference

by Tomasz Ng:

Hyundai A-League 2013/14, Round 12

7:30pm, Friday 27 December – AAMI Park, Melbourne

Melbourne Heart FC 0 

defeated by

Wellington Phoenix  FC 1 (Stein Huysegems 75’)


Wellington Phoenix won their second game in a row over cellar dwellers Melbourne Heart thanks to a solitary strike by Stein Huysegems.

The Belgian striker tapped home a good cross from the right by Tyler Boyd, securing a vital three points for the visitors.

That moment seemed like it would never come given the amount of chances that had gone begging in the match.

David Williams was the chief offender for the home side, as he missed two vital chances to break the deadlock in the first half.

The worst of the two came in the 20th minute, when Michael Mifsud found himself with room inside the box, but opted to square it for Williams who was unmarked.

All Williams had to do was tap it in but the winger somehow screwed his finish wide of the post.

Less than five minutes later, he missed another gilt edged chance when he got on the end of a cross from deep.

With a goal gaping, his shot only found Glen Moss, who had spread himself wide to ensure the clean sheet stayed intact.

Phoenix had their chances to score too, with playmaker Carlos Hernandez particularly unlucky not to find the back of the net.

With only ten minutes on the clock, Hernandez manufactured some space for himself before firing in a left footed drive that hit the post.

He then went close again in the 21st minute when his free kick was brilliantly saved by Andrew Redmayne, who just got a fingertip to divert it wide.

Jeremy Brockie was another Phoenix player that just couldn’t find the back of the net.

The striker has been in horrible form of late having some absolute howlers in front of goal, and the lack of confidence showed through when he found himself with plenty of time and space to shoot.

He failed to hit the target with his four chances and was substituted after missing his last gilt edged chance.

One man the Phoenix could rely on was Moss, who made some tremendous saves when called upon.

The best came when Michael Mifsud looked set to score in the 57th minute, Moss was on hand to brilliantly smother his tap in.

With so many missed in the game up until the 75th minute, Heart would be the one to rue their profligacy in from of goal when Boyd laid the ball on platter for Huysegems.

It was the striker’s second in two games, and it condemned Heart to another loss, and the unwanted record of the worst start to any season ever in the Hyundai A-League.

Winning coach Ernie Merrick felt his side weren’t at their best but was happy to take three points away from home.

“I don’t think we played our best tonight, in fact we’ve played better and lost but we’re beginning to learn what it takes to win games and it’s not always pretty football,” Merrick said.

“I thought we gave the ball away cheaply in midfield – so we talked about retaining possession a lot more.

“When we got [our passing game] going I thought we created some pretty good chances which were inside the penalty box, whereas Heart certainly did create a lot of chances but a lot of them were from crosses and we handled that much better in the second half.”

Merrick even had time for his counterpart, who he felt was a bit unlucky not to get anything out of the game.

“I real feel for John Aloisi actually because I thought John’s team was the better team tonight,” he said.

“But you can look at all the statistics you like, the bottom line is who scores the most goals and

we managed to get one up on them.”

While Huysegems scored the winning goal, his strike partner Brockie had another shocker in front of goal, but Merrick was pleased with his all round contribution.

“The good thing about Jeremy today, fairly or unfairly strikers are judged by the number of goals they score and sometimes they do a lot more than that,” he said.

“They set up play, they work hard etcetera.

“I feel as though he’s taken a big step forward in the right direction by being much more involved in the game and getting into those goalscoring positions.”

Meanwhile, a sullen John Aloisi admitted that the loss was the lowest ebb of his short coaching career, but was dumbfounded as to how Heart have gone so long without a win.

“It’s difficult to take because I’ve never been in a team that’s created so many chances and can’t win games,” Aloisi said.

“I don’t know what else you have to do to win games. When they’re clear like that you should be winning games.”

There has been plenty of speculation about Aloisi’s job and the sale of the club, but he does not feel that has an effect on the squad.

“I’m not sure about the takeover of the club I don’t think the players know anything about it, I don’t know anything about it,” he said.

“That’s something not for us to focus on and what we do say to the players is focus on the job at hand.

“I think that not winning the games adds to a bit of a lack of confidence which is normal, but still we have to be better than what we were tonight.”

One area that Heart can improve on is their profligacy in front of goal, and Aloisi feels that his side needs a bit more hunger.

“We have to be able to defend with our lives as a group and when we are given those chances, punish teams, and it’s happened way too often that our mistakes are costing us and also when we’re in front of goal and you’re not punishing teams it’s hurting us.”


Match Stats:

Crowd: 6,486


Melbourne Heart:

1. Andrew Redmayne [GK], 3. Robbie Wielart, 6. Patrick Gerhardt, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 10. Harry Kewell (c), 11. Michael Mifsud, 15. David Williams (7. Iain Ramsay +60’), 16. Aziz Behich (14. Golgol Mebrahtu +81’), 17. Jason Hoffman, 22. Nicholas Kalmar (25. Andrea Migliorini +81’), 23. Mate Dugandzic

Unused Substitutes: 20. Tando Velaphi [GK], 18. David Vrankovic

Yellow Cards: Hoffman 14’, Gerhardt 45+1’

Red Cards: Nil


Wellington Phoenix FC:

1. Glen Moss [GK], 2. Emmanuel Muscat, 9. Kenny Cunningham, 10. Stein Huysegems, 11. Jeremy Brockie, 13. Albert Riera, 16. Louis Fenton, 17. Vince Lia, 18. Benjamin Sigmund, 21. Carlos Hernandez, 22. Andrew Durante (c)

Unused Substitutes: 20. Lewis Italiano [GK], 5. Michael Boxall, 7. Leo Bertos, 12. Tyler Boyd, 15. Jason Hicks

Yellow Cards: Durante 26’

Red Cards: Nil


Referee: Strebre Delovski

Assistants: John Barreiro, George Lakrindis, Alex Azcurra



Pitch Rating: 10/10

Game Rating: 8/10


Player Points: 

3. Carlos Hernandez (WP)

2. Glen Moss (WP)

1. Stein Huysegems (WP)


By Tomasz Ng