Golgol Mebrahtu of the Heart celebrates his goal with team mates during the round 10 A-League match between the Melbourne Heart and the Perth Glory at AAMI Park on December 8, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Golgol Mebrahtu of the Heart celebrates his goal with team mates. Photo: Getty Images

Sudanese-born refugee Golgol Mebrahtu has come off the bench to score a late winner in his Melbourne Heart debut and deliver his A-League club a much-needed win over Perth Glory.

Saturday night's victory lifted the Heart, who started the round in ninth spot, above the sixth-placed Glory, who are on a five-match winless streak and yet to win away this season.

Mebrahtu, 22, had played 26 A-League games with Gold Coast without scoring.

But it took just 12 minutes with the Heart to break his duck, the youngster replacing his captain Fred in the 77th minute and scoring in the 89th.

While Mebrahtu did the finishing, it was Josip Tadic who deserved much of the credit, making a penetrating run through the Perth defence down the left flank then easing the ball in front of Mebrahtu, who had only to tap it past advancing keeper Danny Vukovic.

It was sweet relief for the Heart, who had earlier squandered some good chances in an at-times heated contest.

Tadic wasted the best of them in just the third minute, after a delicate touch from teammate Nick Kalmar gave him ample time and space to beat Vukovic, but his initial touch was poor and his shot off-target.

Perth's best early chances came in the air, with star striker Shane Smeltz just off-range with two first-half headers.

Tempers flared at halftime when Heart coach John Aloisi, who had said pre-game his side had allowed themselves to be bullied by Perth in the past, exchanged angry words with Glory skipper Jacob Burns on the sidelines then in the players' tunnel.

It was sparked by an incident just before the interval which ended with Tadic lying on the turf after a tangle with Perth's Dean Heffernan.

The spice continued after the break when Burns, who was on return from a suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards, picked up another for bringing down Tadic off the ball.

Perth's best scoring opportunities came soon after, a Chris Harold shot blocked by a Heart defender before Travis Dodd forced a brilliant save from Heart keeper Clint Bolton.

Fred then wasted two good chances for the Heart, before being pulled to the bench for Mebrahtu's decisive introduction.

Aloisi said beating a side who had won their past three meetings meant plenty.

"That was a massive win," he said.

"Not only can we play good football but we showed that we can also match it against a tough opposition that are physically strong."

He said his exchange with Burns was sparked when he was talking to the fourth official and the Glory skipper butted in.

"Jacob Burns comes in and interrupts and gets in my face, which I found a bit disrespectful from an opposition player," Aloisi said.

"So I just told him to get away, probably not in those words."

Perth coach Ian Ferguson said while the Glory had played better than results suggested in recent weeks, not so on Saturday night.

"We probably got what we deserved today," Ferguson said.

AAP