Late defeat quashes Bulls’ comeback

A brave performance wasn’t enough to keep the Bulls’ finals hopes alive after Macarthur FC suffered a late defeat away to Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Sunday 

Mile Sterjovski’s side looked to be on track for a hard-fought comeback before Victory snatched all three points in the last minute of stoppage time to claim a 2-1 win. It was a heartbreaking result for the Bulls – especially their defence – who were stoic against a firing Melbourne side. Centre-back Tomi Uskok drew level in the second half, cancelling out Fernando Romero’s opener only for substitute Lleyton Brooks to shatter the Bulls’ hearts with an injury time winner. 

It was some 90 minutes after their opener. The Bulls suffered an early blow when Romero broke the deadlock after just three minutes. As confident as it made Melbourne, they couldn’t find their second due to a brave showing from Filip Kurto. Macarthur’s goalkeeper made a superb save against Romero before another brave interception denied Bruno Fornaroli a chance in the first half. 

Defender Jake McGing came close to drawing level for the Bulls with a well-timed header later in the first half that forced a fine save from Paul Izzo. 

The Bulls dictated the majority of the ball in the second half and got their rewards just after the hour. Uskok rose highest to meet a flicked-on corner, steering his header into the bottom corner of the net to make it 1-1. 

A handful of substitutions added energy to the Bulls attack but they were dealt a savage blow at the death. Brooks’ last-gasp header delivered all three points to Melbourne.