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Dugandzic double leads Heart to victory

MHTvNEWMate Dugandzic struck twice to hand Melbourne Heart their first win of the season, as they came from behind to defeat an unconvincing Newcastle Jets 3-1 at AAMI Park.

David Williams started for the Heart over an out-of-form Mifsud, while marquee player Orlando Engelaar found a spot on the bench, marking his first appearance for the club. The Jets made several changes, recalling Jaliens after his suspension, and elevating Caravella and Virgili to the first team after Nathan Burns returned to his South Korean club.

The hosts began the brighter, with Ramsay’s curling effort from outside the box forcing Birighitti into the first save of the evening after six minutes, and Gerhardt heading over from the resulting corner. A minute later, the Jets ‘keeper was tested again when he tipped over a long-range drive from Harry Kewell.

Newcastle were gifting possession to Heart early and Ben Kantarovski, after being booked early in the match, was extremely fortunate not to receive a second yellow card in the 19th minute when he held back Dugandzic’s goal-bound run.

Match Details Full match details »

Date/Time Fri Jan 17, 2014, 7:30 PMStadium AAMI ParkAttendance 5,046Referee Alan Milliner

Melbourne Heart

Goal44′ I.RamsayGoal45′ M.DugandzicGoal68′ M.Dugandzic


Yellow Card3′ B.KantarovskiYellow Card14′ T.ReganGoal37′ T.ReganYellow Card62′ J.PepperYellow Card63′ J.BrownYellow Card90′ K.Jaliens

Heart continued in the ascendancy, even after Williams was replaced by Mifsud in the 31st minute, but the Melbourne side were unable to turn their dominance into goal-scoring opportunities.

They were made to pay as Newcastle grabbed the lead against the run of play. A Virgili corner kick found Taylor Regan completely unmarked at the back post, and the defender steered a header in off the upright to make it 1-0.

Heart responded quickly, with Dugandzic fizzing an effort wide from outside the area, before Mifsud cut inside the defence and drove a long range shot which Birighitti had to parry away.

The home side then equalised in the 44th minute when Kewell’s header found Ramsay at the edge of the area and his strike took a wicked deflection off Jaliens before nestling into the bottom left corner of the goal.

Two minutes later and Heart were ahead, with an advanced Behich delivering an inch-perfect cross for Dugandzic to head home.

Gary van Egmond reigned in the changes at half time, replacing Gallaway and Virgili for Brown and Ward, and the latter quickly stamped his influence on the game. The midfielder’s play led to dangerous efforts from Brown and Heskey, yet both were directed straight at Redmayne

The introduction of Engelaar helped turn the momentum back to the home side and Dugandzic could have fired Heart further ahead when a Kantarovski slip gifted him the ball in the box, but the striker’s resulting shot was clawed away by the Jets ‘keeper.

But the 24-year-old doubled the lead, and his tally, in the 68th minute as he raced onto a superb ball and prodded the ball through the legs of the advancing Birighitti.

Dugandzic was denied his hattrick three minutes later when his near-post strike hit the outstretched leg of the Newcastle stopper and deflected out of play.

There were some nervous moments for the home side when Redmayne barely dealt with Brown’s bouncing shot from inside the box before just about grabbing the following effort, and soon after saw a strike from Bridge deflect wide of the post.

Yet the night belonged to Heart, finally claiming their first win of the season and easing some of the pressure on the beleaguered club.

About the author

avatarJulian is a freelance writer and editor, film festival programmer, and serial podcaster.

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