A last-minute equaliser dashed a dream win for Mile Sterjovski in his first match as head coach of Macarthur FC. The Bulls put in a brave showing in a 2-2 draw with Western United at home on Saturday afternoon.
Amid stifling heat at Campbelltown, the Bulls had to play the entire second-half with 10 men but still were one minute away from what would have been an memorable victory. While disappointed to leave with just a point, Macarthur FC left the field to a standing ovation from the crowd of 2,898 for putting in a dogged display against the A-League champions.
“Credit to the boys for the fight they showed when they went a player down,” Sterjovski said. “I think they showed what they are capable of so I want to build from that and set our standards a bit higher.”
The Bulls looked on course for all three points when Jed Drew and Matt Millar scored in the second half to make it 2-1, only for a late strike from Western United substitute Nicola Milanovic to snatch a point for the visitors.
After an evenly poised first-half, the match changed when Kearyn Baccus was given his marching orders three minutes after the restart, receiving a second yellow card after a high foot struck Noah Botic.
The Bulls fought bravely and almost snatched the lead despite the numerical disadvantage when Ulises Davila’s deflected shot trickled narrowly wide.
However in the sapping heat and with a man down, a gap opened in the midfield. On the hour, Lachlan Wales pried open space to curl a shot in off the post to break the deadlock.
However, the Bulls refused to lay down and drew level shortly after through their goal scoring fullback, Millar. After a dangerous run from Ulises Davila opened space and an astute Millar made no mistake with a composed finish into the corner.
Not satisfied with a point, Macarthur surged forward with a swagger rarely seen by teams with just 10 men. In his first appearance of the season, substitute Moudi Najjar forced an error from United’s defence, prying space for youngster Drew who rattled the back of the net to make it 2-1 and send the home fans into delirium.
Just as the Bulls looked to be on course for a stunning victory, they were undone at the death. Western United’s Milanovic snared a late equaliser to claim a share of the points.