• FT

    N'castle Jet

    2

    CC Mariners

    1

  • FT

    WSFC

    0

    Sydney FC

    1

  • FT

    Wellington P

    1

    Brisbane

    1

  • FT

    Perth Glory

    2

    Melbourne H

    0

AUSTRALIAN A-LEAGUE

Members Equity Stadium, Australia

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Perth Glory

  • Dean Heffernan 39'
  • Billy Mehmet 86'

2 - 0

FT

Glory's loss is Heart's big gain

Melbourne Heart players are no doubt haunted by the sight of Shane Smeltz, but the Perth Glory striker will be reduced to the role of a frustrated spectator when the two A-League sides lock horns at nib Stadium on Sunday.

Smeltz was in irresistible form in matches against Heart last season, scoring six goals in four encounters to establish himself as Melbourne's bogey man.

In Perth's upset 2-1 win at AAMI Park in round two, Smeltz scored a brace.

And the New Zealand international was at it again later in the season when he gave Perth the early lead in yet another 2-1 win at the Heart's home fortress.

But it was his elimination final heroics that proved the most devastating, with his second-half hat-trick sending the Heart back to Melbourne with their tail between their legs in a 3-0 romp.

And just to prove last season's goal glut wasn't a fluke, Smeltz scored a first-half brace when Perth thumped Heart 5-0 in a pre-season friendly last month.

Luckily for Heart, Smeltz picked up a hamstring injury last week while on international duty and has been ruled out of action for at least the next two matches.

Smeltz's setback means Billy Mehmet will retain his starting role on Sunday, while utility Steve Pantelidis has been called up to replace central defender Bas van den Brink, who has a calf injury.

The Heart will be without defender Simon Colosimo, who is serving a one-match ban after being red-carded in last week's 1-1 draw with Wellington Phoenix.

Glory coach Ian Ferguson said although Smeltz would be sorely missed, the team still had plenty of avenues towards goal.

"Smeltzy always has goals in him and you're always going to miss that top quality of player who can change a game in a heartbeat," Ferguson said.

"But we've got plenty of cover there in Billy Mehmet, and Travis Dodd and Steven McGarry can play up there as well."

Glory, who are aiming to rebound from last week's 1-0 loss to Central Coast, face a tough task containing talented Heart quartet Fred, Richard Garcia, Mate Dugandzic and Matt Thompson.

But Ferguson has urged his charges to cause Melbourne problems up the other end.

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