Heart beat luckless Fury

Melbourne Heart defeated a spirited but luckless North Queensland Fury 3-2 at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Wednesday night.

Melbourne Heart defeated a spirited but luckless North Queensland Fury 3-2 at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Wednesday night.

Dyron Daal scored one of the flukiest goals in the league-s history for the homeside when the ball smashed into the side of his head and deflected into the goal in the 12th minute but their luck ended there.

Eli Babalj levelled the scores for the visitors in the 50th minute but there appeared to be an offside pass in the lead-up while Gerald Sibon delivered a second goal in the 58th minute but appeared to have handballed.

Wayne Srhoj then ran through a demoralised defence and almost half the field to draw and pass past goalkeeper Justin Pasfield to set up Adrian Zahra for the third goal in the 64th minute.

Ufuk Talay ensured a close finish after converting a penalty kick in the 84th minute, which had to be taken twice due to encroachment, after livewire Dyron Daal was brought down in the box by Simon Colosimo.

The Fury could be excused for feeling robbed after dominating the start to go one up before a run of bad calls left them demoralised and the Heart running rampant but they dug deep to pull a goal back and threaten to the death.

Fury coach Franz Straka said he was not going to concentrate on the opposition goals but look to his side’s missed opportunities.

“I am disappointed about this result, I think we played with confidence and tactically very well, we had good chances especially in the second half,” he said.

“I don’t want to comment on those situations (offside and handball) because it is dangerous for the coaches I think but we have to take chances to score and we didn-t and it was the difference.

“We were not worse than our opponent, we were better.”

Heart coach John van ‘t Schip said his side struggled in the first half and was forced to mix it up in attack.

“It was very strange, the first half I don’t think we came into the game at all, they had the better chances, we didn’t create anything,” he said.

“I tried to get a little bit more difference in the attack and sometimes it works and today it worked so we are pleased about that.”

Sibon admitted to handling the ball in scoring his vital goal.

“It hit my hand, I couldn’t really do anything about it, it was a good decision by the ref,” he said.

North Queensland peppered the goal box early with three opportunities in the first five minutes but could not convert.

David Williams sent a low cross into the box with the ball deflecting off the legs of defender Michael Marone and into the path of an open Chris Payne but his strike brushed the right post.

Payne threatened again with a cross from the left wing curling across the goal face and past lunging defenders into the run of Daal but his shot was blocked on the line by Michael Beauchamp.

Daal showed it was better to be lucky than good in the 12th minute when a Panagiotis Nikas free kick rebounded off his head and wrong footed goalkeeper Clint Bolton into the net.

Daal came close to doubling his tally in the 31st minute when a measured free kick by Mark Hughes found him unmarked in the box but the shot smashed into the right side of the net.

Melbourne set out after the break to counter attack and Rutger Worm created plenty on the left wing.

Worm was at the end of a one-two pass from the midfield while he appeared to be off side before putting a through ball to an open Babalj who slotted it low into the left corner to level the scores in the 50th minute.

Sibon positioned himself under a high long-ball in the 50th minute and used his muscle to hold out two defenders to bring the ball down to his feet but had used his hand before shooting to take the lead.

Srhoj then broke straight through clumsy defence in the 64th minute including a fumbling Mark Hughes to run almost half the field before drawing goalkeeper Pasfield and passing to an open Zahra to slot in.

Talay restored some pride to the men in green in the 84th minute with a penalty after Daal was brought down in the box by Colosimo who wildly swiped his legs.

North Queensland Fury 2 (Daal 12, Talay 84)
Melbourne Heart 3 (Babalj 50, Sibon 59, Zahra 64)
Crowd 2,866 at Dairy Farmers Stadium