Western Sydney Wanderers vs. Melbourne City  2 - 1


Aloisi: Ono deserved red card

2 November 2012 14:20

Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi believes Shinji Ono was lucky not to be sent off in the A-League on Friday.

Aloisi said the Japanese midfielder deserved to see a red card for a 'terrible tackle' in his side's 2-1 loss to the Western Sydney Wanderers.

In a fiery and at times spiteful start to the match at Parramatta, Ono's tackle on Heart midfielder Jason Hoffman was the biggest talking point and the one that left Aloisi most incensed.

Just seconds after Hoffman had brought down Wanderers right-back Jerome Polenz, Ono sought immediate retribution with a late challenge of his own.

The incident sparked a heated exchange featuring a number of players from both sides, with Ono escaping with only a yellow card.

"It was a pretty terrible tackle," Aloisi fumed after the match.

"The one before Hoffy actually wins the ball then he (Ono) comes with his studs up over the ball.

"The referee has to make a decision. I don't know if it was a sending off but from my angle it was a bad tackle."

After the physical opening, it was the Wanderers who settled the quickest, going on to register back-to-back wins and their first triumph at Parramatta Stadium.

Mark Bridge's strike and an own goal from Heart defender Patrick Gerhardt gave the home side a 2-0 lead just after half-time before Josip Tadic's classy volley set up a tense finish.

But spurred on by the small but vocal home support the Wanderers held on to move up to fourth ahead of the visit of high-flying Newcastle next weekend.

"It's nice to send the fans home happy,'' Wanderers coach Tony Popovic said.

"They really backed us from the start going all the way back to pre-season and it was great to get the win for them.

"We were on top at 2-0 but the Heart are a tough outfit and we had to be really resilient at the end.

"At 2-1 a few of our players started to look a little nervous and we were hanging on a bit but it was brilliant to get the win and hopefully we can only get better from here."

The Heart will also have to get better as they have now slumped to three straight defeats.

But Aloisi is refusing to panic and is confident they will turn things around once they get a few more players back from injury.

"I'd be disappointed if we were getting outplayed by the opposition but we're not," the Heart boss said.

"We had seven players out and had a youth (team) boy in the starting 11 so I think we did alright.

"The boys shouldn't be too down on confidence. It's important we keep on going, keep on believing and once we get a full squad then we'll be very competitive as we are even with seven players out."

The Heart get a chance to kick-start their season when they host champions Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park next Friday night.


A-League: Western Sydney Wanderers 2 Melbourne Heart 1

2 November 2012 11:43

The Western Sydney Wanderers held on for their first A-League win at home, beating the Melbourne Heart 2-1 on Friday night.

The Wanderers appeared to be cruising with Mark Bridge's strike and an own goal by Heart defender Patrick Gerhardt putting them two up just after half-time.

But young Heart striker Josip Tadic set up a thrilling finish when he smashed home a cracking volley on 57 minutes to halve the deficit.

The visitors pushed hard for an equaliser and spurned a couple of decent chances to snatch a point in front of just over 8000 fans in Sydney's west.

It is now three straight defeats for John Aloisi's side, who could finish the round on the bottom of the table if neighbours Melbourne Victory defeat Wellington on Monday night.

But it's nothing but positives for the Wanderers who made it back-to-back wins and again showed they will be more than just competitive in their debut season.

Both sides were having trouble creating any clear-cut chances in a physical but sloppy opening.

There were a number of fierce challenges being put in, including one by Japanese superstar Shinji Ono on Jason Hoffman that may have been lucky just to be a yellow card.

So it was perhaps not a surprise that when things settled down and there was the first bit of quality play it resulted in a goal to Bridge on 28 minutes.

Aaron Mooy was given too much time in the middle of the park and he was able to thread a clever pass to Joey Gibbs on the edge of the box.

The young striker's touch went behind him a little but the ball fell perfectly into the path of Bridge, whose side-footed finish slipped underneath Clint Bolton and into the net.

It took less than six minutes into the second half for the home side to double their lead.

The Wanderers broke quickly from defence with Mateo Poljak releasing Youssouf Hersi down the right wing.

The winger's cross looked like it would be easily dealt with only for Gerhardt to scuff his clearance into his own net.

It was a cruel piece of luck for the Heart but six minutes later they pulled a goal back.

Aziz Behich swung in a high cross to the far post which was met with a sweet right-foot volley by Tadic that cannoned in off the far post.

The Heart were almost level a minute later when Richard Garcia's strike at close range hit the post and went wide.

It was as close as they came in a tense finish to the match with the Wanderers holding on to move up into the top six for the first time this season.

A-League table

# Team MP D P
1 27 +20 57
2 27 +26 54
3 27 +3 44
4 27 +1 41
5 27 +4 35
6 27 -2 32
7 27 -10 32
8 27 -15 31
9 27 -9 27
10 27 -18 27
18+ GambleAware