Victory go down to Heart

An attacking Melbourne Victory have fallen to a 2-1 loss to Melbourne Heart in coach Ange Postecoglou's first Hyundai A-League game in charge of the club.

An attacking Melbourne Victory have fallen to a 2-1 loss to Melbourne Heart in coach Ange Postecoglou's first Hyundai A-League game in charge of the club.

Marco Rojas had cancelled out a 14th-minute opener from David Williams with his first goal in Victory colours in front of a derby-record crowd of 42,032 at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

Despite dominating for large periods, Victory tasted defeat in the season opener after Dylan Macallister scored what proved to be the winner late in the first half.

Victory persisted with their possession-based game early on despite Heart pressing them high up the park.

Richard Garcia blazed an effort over in the third minute and Macallister should have done better when a punched clearance from the impressive Lawrence Thomas fell to him inside the area.

Heart found the opener after a quarter of an hour through Williams, who struck at the back post after a lofted pass from Garcia.

But Victory were on level terms 10 minutes later after a well-worked move led to Rojas tapping in the equaliser.

The ever-present Marcos Flores released Archie Thompson down the left and the veteran picked out Rojas as the Kiwi ghosted into the area to tuck a first-time finish into the bottom corner.

Gui Finkler, who looked lively in the attacking third and was regularly fouled, then curled a 20-yard effort wide after linking with Flores.

Thomas was called into action twice after the half-hour, denying Garcia and Williams with impressive stops.

Victory were unlucky not to go ahead in the 45th minute after the best move of the game featuring dangerous trio Flores, Finkler and Thompson.

After a neat passing move, Finkler teed up Flores on the edge of the area and the Argentine rattled the crossbar with his powerful drive.

On the counter-attack, Heart struck through Macallister after Mate Dugandzic picked out the journeyman at the back post to make it 2-1.

Victory dominated the early exchanges of the second half but Heart went closest through Macallister and Dugandzic, who was denied brilliantly by a sweeping Thomas.

Adama Traore struck the side-netting in the 67th minute while moments later the substitutes - Danny Allsopp and Theo Markelis - combined.

Markelis lifted a pin-point pass through to Allsopp but the striker was unable to generate enough pace on his header to beat Bolton.

Macallister struck an effort wide and Thomas tapped a Williams shot around his post, before he kept out the attacker in a one-on-one moments later.

Thomas - a standout - denied Williams again before Thompson blazed over from inside the area after a cut-back from Matthew Foschini.

It proved to be Victory's last chance to find what would have been a deserved equaliser against a tiring Heart outfit in an enthralling encounter.

Melbourne Victory 1 (Marco Rojas 24') Melbourne Heart 2 (David Williams 14', Dylan Macallister 45+2') Crowd: 42,032 at Etihad Stadium