Heart heap more misery on Roar

RECORDS were made to be broken.

However, A-League leader Brisbane Roar has been forced to endure the end of a second long-standing streak in successive weeks after being defeated by the Melbourne Heart 2-1 at Suncorp Stadium.


MELBOURNE HEART 2 (Germano 11', Babalj 27')

BRISBANE ROAR 1 (Nichols 78')

After having its record 36-game unbeaten run come to an end at the hands of Sydney FC, the Roar's home fortress finally succumbed to an invading force after nearly two years of impregnability.

Not since January 2010 has an opposing side stolen all three points from Queensland's capital, but two first half goals to Jonatan Germano and Eli Babalj ended the Roar's undefeated home streak. 

A late Mitch Nichols goal gave a glimmer of hope for the league leaders, but the Heart stood firm and held on for a famous victory.

"The first half wasn't great. We gave the ball away too much and the way we play our game, if we give the ball away too much ... it gives the opposition opportunities," Roar coach Ange Postecoglou said.

"The second half was better, was more like ourselves.

"(But) the little things we've been good at were not doing as well at the moment and I guess that's what happens, you pay the price."

Lacking its normal fluidity and penetration, the Roar found it hard to implement its normal high speed passing game early in the match.

And the Heart - sensing a wounded opponent - jumped at the chance to compound the Roar's misery, taking the early lead.

Mate Dugandzic swung a perfectly weighted corner in the eleventh minute and Gernamo, easily slipping the Roar defence, nodded home from close range.

Despite never tasting victory against Brisbane in the A-League, the Heart was the dominant force in the match and deservedly doubled its lead on the 27th minute mark.

Melbourne's crisp passing down the left flank allowed time and space for the ball to be whipped across and find Dugandzic on the edge of the box.

Aware of the opportunity inside the penalty area, the young attacker hit a first time pass and Babalj neatly flicked past the diving Michael Theoklitos.

Brisbane started the second half with more drive and purpose, but was stilling failing to turn possession into scoring opportunities.

Deciding his sides predicament was becoming perilous, Roar coach Ange Postecoglou injected the enthusiasm and pace of young wingers Rocco Visconte and Kofi Danning.

And it was Danning who sparked hope of a comeback, his direct run and cutback bouncing around the Heart's box before Nichols prodded it home.

But Melbourne's defence remained strong, picking up three precious points on the road and moving up to third on the ladder.

"Brisbane is the best team at the moment," Heart coach John Van't Schip said

"But I think we are in a good moment, we had a game-plan that I think first half worked out really well.

"Overall we're a happy team and a happy club."

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