Gold Coast punish wasteful Heart

Gold Coast United have punished Melbourne Heart for their profligacy in front of goal with a 3-0 win at a dark and soggy Skilled Park on Sunday.

Gold Coast United have punished Melbourne Heart for their profligacy in front of goal with a 3-0 win at a dark and soggy Skilled Park on Sunday.

The Heart pressed forward all afternoon and continually fashioned chances but could not make them count on the scoreboard, with a sucker-punch goal from Bas van den Brink and a second-half Jason Culina brace giving the hosts a vital three points – but Melbourne Heart will surely wonder how they left the match unrewarded.

The visitors started the match looking more likely to open the scoring and in just the second minute Thompson received a Sibon layoff and fired a bouncing shot from 20 metres, beating United gloveman Scott Higgins but not the left upright.

They continued in the 19th minute when Alex Terra put in a grounded cross just metres out from the goalface but could not find John Aloisi at the near post, and John Curtis was there to save the day for United.

Heart continued to pepper the goals in the first half – a first time shot from Sibon tested Higgins in the 20th minute, then efforts from Alex Terra and Aloisi not long after continued to keep the pressure on the hosts.

But they couldn’t find the target and Gold Coast ended up with some chances of their own, notably from Jason Culina who had a long-distance effort in the 40th minute after twisting and turning Nick Kalmar, and the skipper launched a fierce drive towards Heart keeper Clint Bolton which he parried out for a corner.

From there, Culina found Bas van den Brink with the kick, with Kalmar beaten to the ball again and the Dutchman nodded home his second goal of the season in the shadows of the main break and largely against the run of play.

Heart started the second half much like they did the first – creating chances but lacking the killer instinct required and Gold Coast made them pay for their inability to convert in the 58th minute from the penalty spot.

Michael Beauchamp brought down Djite from behind in the penalty area, with Culina making no mistake with the spot kick to double his side’s advantage.

In the 62nd minute, Heart earned a free kick of their own in the United penalty box – but an indirect one, after referee Jarred Gillet blew the whistle after a high foot from Dino Djulbic.

Sibon slammed the kick into the Gold Coast wall, praying for a deflection but the wall was quickly cleared and the danger removed.

Heart had another golden chance through Aloisi five minutes later when Zahra flicked on a header in the path of the former Socceroo, but he spurned his shot wide of the far post.

United had a third in the 77th minute when Bruce Djite sent a low ball across the box, past a flat-footed Heart defence and straight to Culina, who fired from point-blank change for his second.

The Heart would have been deflated by their fourth loss in five matches, but Gold Coast could not have wished for a better day after Adelaide lost against Wellington earlier in the afternoon, and Miron Bleiberg’s men will be looking to continue in the same vein against the Phoenix at Skilled Park on Saturday.

Gold Coast United 2 (van den Brink 41′, Culina [pen] 58′, 77′)
Melbourne Heart 0
Crowd: 1,658 at Skilled Park, Robina