Melbourne Heart set for first Finals appearance

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Melbourne Heart will feature in this year’s Hyundai A-League Finals Series despite their failure to hold on to a 2-0 half time lead against Sydney FC after a Shannon Cole second half double handed the Sky Blues a well earned point.

Melbourne Heart through to the Finals

Despite an uneventful start to the contest, the game came to life in the thirty-first minute courtesy of a Mate Dugandzic strike, while the home side doubled the lead five minutes later through striker Eli Babalj.

The first half performance pleased boss Vant Schip.

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“ In the first half we played really well, however we must be able to play well for the full game and not only for five minutes like we done today and last week against Wellington.

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“We dropped to deep in the second half allowing Sydney more space”.

The Heart boss has reason to be disappointed with the second half performance as Sydney found their way back into the game through two goals from substitute Shannon Cole.

The failure to pick up all three points has ended Hearts chances of a home final, which was a possibility should Phoenix drop points in the final round.

For the Sky Blues their finals football begins next week in a do or die match against Newcastle Jets. The point earned last night did little to nothing for the Sky Blues, however they can take heart from their second half performance in which they showed great character and determination to claw back into the contest – something that they must show next week.

For Sydney boss Vitezslav Lavicka he is just happy to still be in the running for the Finals after an inconsistent season.

“I’m happy to still be in finals contention. In recent weeks I think we have played well and must continue because next week’s game is huge for us.”

Whether it is Sydney or Newcastle that join Melbourne Heart in the Finals both will have a tough task as they must win four games in a row in order to be crowned A-League Champions. A tough ask for sides who have failed to show consistency throughout this A-League campaign.

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With only one week of football remaining before the Finals begin, we are yet to crown Minor Premiers and we are yet to see the top six. Get ready for an entertaining, gripping and dramatic conclusion to the A-League regular season as many of your questions will be answered before the start of the Finals.

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