Melbourne Heart striker and Perth native Eli Babalj believes the first-time Hyundai A-League finalists can rise to the occasion when they cross the Nullarbor for Sunday’s cutthroat elimination final against Perth Glory.
Melbourne Heart striker and Perth native Eli Babalj believes the first-time Hyundai A-League finalists can rise to the occasion when they cross the Nullarbor for Sunday-s cutthroat elimination final against Perth Glory.
Heart travel to Perth on the back of a six-match unbeaten run and Babalj believes the team's aspirations are clear heading into their first finals series in just their second season.
"To go to the final - it's as simple as that," he said.
"We've got Perth now, and then after that we've got either Sydney or Wellington."
"We've shown this year that we can win and hopefully we get a chance to play against Brisbane or Central Coast in the prelim."
Babalj scored the equaliser in Heart's draw against Adelaide United last week - his ninth goal of the season - and has now set his sights on breaking his drought against his hometown team in front of his friends and family.
"It will be special," he said.
"I was hoping for (Perth) the last couple of weeks, knowing that it's a possibility. It's finally happened and hopefully we can go there and get a win."
"(It was) a bit of a disappointing performance (against Adelaide) in the first half, but we came back (in the) second half and there-s a lot we can take out of it for the game on Sunday."
Heart must win against Perth to secure a minor semi-final berth against the winner of Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC, which will be decided in New Zealand on Friday.