Late drama as last-second penalty helps Macarthur salvage draw with Jets
A 98th-minute penalty from Valere Germain has helped Macarthur salvage a point in a drama-charged 1-1 A-League Men draw with the Newcastle Jets.
The Bulls looked destined for defeat on Friday until Jets defender Phillip Cancar bundled into Lachlan Rose in the box in the dying stages at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
Germain stepped up from the spot and slotted the ball calmly down the middle to cancel out Clayton Taylor’s first-half opener to arrest a slide of three straight losses for the Bulls.
“I think we deserved that and I think we deserve more,” said Macarthur boss Mile Sterjovski.
“I haven’t seen the stats, but I feel like we did dominate the match.
“Newcastle are a difficult opponent to play against and I thought they defended well, broke forward well, but in the second half, I feel like we controlled most of the game.
“We were lucky not to score a few more, and with a bit more composure in front of goal we score two or three.”
The pace of Taylor and Trent Buhagiar posed questions of the Macarthur defence on the counter, and it only took nine minutes for Newcastle to take the lead.
Thomas Acquilina drifted a delightful cross through the back four and towards the back post, with Taylor tucking it in for his fourth goal of the season.
The 19-year-old nearly added a second less than two minutes later, but his effort cannoned off the crossbar and away to safety.
At the other end, Ryan Scott did fantastically well to deny Clayton Lewis with a one-on-one save, while Tomi Uskok rattled the woodwork with a header from a set piece just before the half-time break.
Macarthur began the second half with a bang, captain Ulises Davila going on one of his trademark runs and putting his side ahead after the ball ricocheted off several players and back into his path.
Unfortunately for the Bulls skipper, after a three-minute VAR check, the goal was ruled out because the ball had deflected off Macarthur teammate Raphael Borgues Rodrigues en route to Davila’s feet.
Macarthur players and Sterjovski were incensed and the side struggled for impetus, until Olyroos midfielder Jake Hollman was introduced with 25 minutes to go.
Hollman had a number of dangerous runs, and as Macarthur pressed forward late in the game a ball was knocked down to Rose.
The striker ran into the box but was body-checked by Cancar, with Germain coolly finishing past Scott to grab a point.
“I said to them at half-time it was ours to lose because we knew Macarthur would be much better in the second half,” said Jets coach Rob Stanton.
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“We are quite a young team and they’re going to make mistakes and you have to keep working on them to improve them so that doesn’t happen.
“It’s another painful lesson.”