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Feb 05, 2012   |  3:11AM AET

Victory grab Derby point

Victory grab Derby point

Melbourne Victory have overcome a slow start and the late dismissal of Grant Brebner to pick up a point in a 0-0 draw with cross-town rivals Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park on Saturday night.

Melbourne Victory have overcome a slow start and the late dismissal of Grant Brebner to pick up a point in a 0-0 draw with cross-town rivals Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park on Saturday night.

In a game that kicked off in front of 26,395 fans with the temperature still sitting at a balmy 32 degrees, Victory did well to go to the break still on level terms after Heart had enjoyed most of the possession and the better chances.

But while Jim Magilton’s men lifted considerably after the break in what proved to be a far more even contest, neither team was able to break the deadlock, with Victory having to contend with a one-man disadvantage for the final 15 minutes after Brebner was sent off.

While Heart have now gone seven games without a win, picking up just three points along the way and will almost certainly remain fifth, Victory climbed to seventh above Newcastle but only on goal difference with the Jets to play Sydney FC on Sunday.

If sixth-placed Sydney wins that game, Victory will find themselves five points outside the top six.

The first shot of the game came in the 11th minute when Wayne Srhoj beat Marco Rojas to the ball, played a one-two and then passed for Rutger Worm but the Dutchman’s effort went over the top.

Two minutes later and a Kristian Sarkies free kick was headed on by Curtis Good before deflecting off Eli Babalj back to the near post where Jonatan Germano headed against the underside of the bar only for the ball to come back out.

Victory’s first good opportunity of the game came in the 24th minute when Craig Goodwin gave the ball away inside his own half and Rojas pounced, finding Leigh Broxham who put Jean Carlos Solorzano into space only for him to smash his shot wide left.

Shortly after a dipping Sarkies free kick from long-range was on target but Ante Covic palmed the ball over the top and then clattered into the post as a result.

Archie Thompson found the ball at his feet after good lead-up work from Harry Kewell and Fabio in the 33rd minute but couldn’t get a shot away before Brebner picked up a yellow card seconds later.

And the final chance before the break fell to Solorzano who ran onto a superb through ball from Adrian Leijer but, under pressure from Simon Colosimo, pushed his shot to the right.

Rojas and Kewell both tried their luck early in the second half without threatening Clint Bolton’s goal before Goodwin had a crack himself and then teed up Babalj but he couldn’t control it and Broxham cleared.

Solorzano lifted a shot over on the hour and then found the back of the net a minute later but he had already been ruled offside, with Danny Allsopp coming on for Kewell in between the two incidents.

Both teams continued to press with Thompson heading over, Babalj putting a header on target only to be denied by Covic and then Allsopp shooting too high on his left.

Heart brought David Williams on for Alex Terra and soon after Carlos Hernandez replaced fellow Costa Rican Solorzano, before Brebner’s tackle on Babalj saw him receive his marching orders.

Thompson tried to curl one in from the left on the turn with 13 minutes left but Bolton was equal to the task before Sarkies missed the chance of the game after Williams’ pace set him up at the front of the box, Covic advancing and doing enough to force Sarkies to blast well over the top.

Srhoj was replaced by Paul Reid before in the 80th minute Goodwin blasted a shot at goal only for Covic to somehow tip it wide, while Michael Marrone also smashed one in in the closing stages but narrowly missed to the left.

Melbourne Heart 0
Melbourne Victory 0