18 Feb 2012

Gold Coast almost embarrass Heart in Melbourne

12:14 pm on 18 February 2012

After a bizarre week in which his A-League football club was derided as a joke, Gold Coast United's billionaire owner Clive Palmer nearly became a comic genius on Friday night.

Instead his brave Gold Coast side lost 1-0 to Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park to a late Eli Babalj goal.

The mining magnate Palmer appointed 17-year-old first-gamer Mitch Cooper as his captain, suspended his coach Miron Bleiberg, then rolled out a virtual youth team to take on the Heart - and few gave the bottom-placed club any chance.

Instead, Palmer and hastily-promoted assistant coach Mike Mulvey nearly had the last laugh after their side produced a disciplined and stoic defensive effort to frustrate the Heart for much of a dour contest.

It was the Heart's first win in nine games, and lifts them to fifth place, while Gold Coast remain dead last.