Preview: Melbourne Heart v Gold Coast United
Heart look to keep their top six dream alive by picking up their first ever win against United
Melbourne Heart v Gold Coast United Wednesday 19th January 8:00pm
Heart look to keep their top six dream alive by picking up their first ever win against United. Don-t miss this midweek match-up!
With Melbourne Hearting hope for another three points as their debut Hyundai A-League season heads for an exciting climax, they-ll be especially keen to get some sweet revenge on Gold Coast United. The last time the sides played, at Skilled Park, the home side ran out 3-0 winners.
However, while it may seem like a thrashing, the scoreline doesn-t give an especially accurate representation of the game. Heart spent much of the afternoon pushing forward and creating chance after chance and left a soggy Skilled Park wondering how they ended up empty-handed.
Simply, the reason that they did was because they were wasteful in front of goal and, unfortunately for them, they found themselves up against the masters of the counter-attack. After Thompson, Aloisi and Sibon were unable to convert opportunities at one end, Bas van den Brink opened the scoring at the other. Then, with a similar pattern emerging in the second-half, United simply soaked up all of the Heart pressure and then picked them off with a Jason Culina brace.
Not only will Heart be looking for their first ever win against the side from Queensland, but also their first ever goal. When the teams convened at AAMI Park in October, the game took on a similar pattern. Heart enjoyed plenty of possession and created chances, but came up against a resolute defence. United also drew a blank and were relieved to escape with a point.
Heart will see this Wednesday-s match-up as an opportunity to record that first victory though, with the Gold Coast having displayed some disappointing form of late. United-s last away game saw them succumb to a 2-0 loss to Sydney FC and before that they drew a blank in the stalemate against Perth.
However, a fine recent 2-2 draw with Brisbane suggests that they still have the fire in their bellies as the Grand Finals approach, and with Shane Smeltz back on board, they-ll certainly be asking a few questions of the Melbourne defence.
After a week off, Heart play their second game in five days and will hope that a return to AAMI Park will bring about a similar result to the last time they turned out there two weeks ago. Then, goals in the second-half from John Aloisi and Gerald Sibon were enough to secure the points.
What they wouldn-t give for another such result on Wednesday against one of their top six rivals. And what a boost three points would be in the build up to the biggest game so far in their inaugural season: next week-s mouth-watering third derby against their cross city rivals.
Can Heart finally find a way past United and sustain their impressive push for a Grand Finals place? Or will United pick up a vital away win - their first since November? Get along to AAMI Park and turn it into a sea of red. Sing your hearts out!