Heart upset Roar in NYL

A blistering 13-minute spell helped Melbourne Heart end Brisbane Roar’s home ground four-match undefeated streak in the National Youth League.

A blistering 13-minute spell helped Melbourne Heart end Brisbane Roar’s home ground four-match undefeated streak in the National Youth League at Goodwin Park on Sunday afternoon.

Nick Fitzgerald and Anthony Proia’s second-half strikes for the Roar were not enough after Steven Gray’s opener and Joshua Groenewald’s first-half double for the Heart.

The hosts enjoyed almost sustained possession in the opening minutes before Heart’s Andrew Cartanos went on a fine solo run down the right to set up Paulo Retre in front of goal.

Retre’s shot didn’t match the build up, however, and the scores remained tied at zero.

Heart showed clinical finishing on 13 minutes to break the deadlock.

A perfectly-weighted free kick from Cameron Edwards allowed the physically imposing Gray to slam home a towering header from close range.

Minutes later, the Victorians were two goals up.

Roar goalkeeper Nicholas Tubbs failed to affectively snuff out a Stefan Mauk foray into his area, and the Heart no.10 was able to set up his captain Groenewald for a simple tap home.

Tubbs picked up an ankle knock in the incident and had to be replaced by Fraser Chalmers.

It wasn’t long before the new goalkeeper was collecting the ball out of the back of the net as well, as Heart took a 3-0 lead after 26 minutes.

Poor passing out of the Roar defence allowed Groenewald to pounce on a loose ball and fire past Chalmers to notch his brace.

Though the Roar gained some composure as the half wore on, they weren’t able to turn possession into significant chances, aside from a firmly hit Rocky Visconte shot on 39 minutes which went straight at Heart ‘keeper Christopher Maynard.

The home team looked re-energised after the break, and 10 minutes into the second half Fitzgerald got the final touch on a fabulous team goal, which included a series of rapid-fire passes, to make the score 3-1.

A swerving free kick from Brisbane’s Luke Brattan was well covered by Maynard after 71 minutes.

Soon after, the Heart shotstopper was yellow carded for handling just outside the box, but the Roar could not convert from the subsequent set-piece.

The Roar showed admirable determination by continuing to push for a second goal until the final whistle, with Proia scoring from a free kick on the edge of the box, but there was no time for a restart and the Heart picked up a well-earned victory.

Brisbane Roar 2 (Nick Fitzgerald 55, Anthony Proia 90+4)
Melbourne Heart 3 (Steve Gray 13, Joshua Groenewald 19, 26)

Brisbane Roar: 1. Nicholas Tubbs (gk) (Fraser Chalmers (gk) 19), 3. Corey Brown (c), 4. Lachlan Jackson, 5. George Lambadaridis (9. Benjamin Liftin 45), 6. Ross Archibald, 10. Kwame Yeboah, 11. Anthony Proia, 12. Dong Hyun Do (7. Patrick Theodore 57), 14. Rocky Visconte (17. Sam Cronin 45), 15. Nick Fitzgerald, 16. Luke Brattan

Melbourne Heart: 1. Alistair Bray (gk), 2. Cameron Edwards (3. Andrew Cartanos 66), 3. Andrew Cartanos (9. James Papadimitriou 57), 4. Steve Gray, 5. William Abbott, 6. Joshua Groenewald (c), 7. Ersin Kaya (11. Quinn McDonald 61), 8. Paulo Retre, 10. Stefan Mauk, 14. Andrew Mullet (12. James Karvelis 61), 15. Nicholas Epifano