Bulls break Victory’s unbeaten streak – but Bruno left seething by goal-line contention


The A-League Men’s lack of goal-line technology has again come under scrutiny after Melbourne Victory were contentiously denied an equaliser in their 1-0 loss to Macarthur FC.

Macarthur dealt Victory their first loss of the season, ending the Melbourne side’s 15-game unbeaten run with a 1-0 win via Jake Hollman’s lovely chip in the 21st minute, while goalkeeper Filip Kurto starred.

Returning Socceroo Bruno Fornaroli (eight shots) had a chance to equalise from the penalty spot in the 84th minute after Kealey Adamson brought down Roderick Miranda

But his tame effort was denied by Kurto – with the Victory striker’s claim the ball had crossed the line falling on deaf ears.


A massive save from the @mfcbulls goalkeeper to deny the Golden Boot leader and keep his side in the lead!

Tune in on Paramount+ ????

???? https://t.co/yEsAiOAmJu#MVCvMAC #ALM pic.twitter.com/1qeLxQ3QIi

— Isuzu UTE A-League (@aleaguemen) February 10, 2024

There is no goal-line technology in the ALM, only VAR – which ticked off the decision.

The contentious moment came six days after a shortfall of technology left it unclear whether Valere Germain’s winner in Macarthur’s 4-3 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers had crossed the line.

“From first angle I thought it crossed the line, but VAR checked it so we have to trust it didn’t cross the line,” Victory coach Tony Popovic said.

“From my angle – I’m far away, I’m on the halfway line – I couldn’t see whether the whole ball crossed the line. But they assured me that it didn’t – so no goal.

“We’ve probably needed that (goal-line technology) since we started VAR. I don’t think that’s anything new.”

Is @gomvfc‘s unbeaten run in danger? ???? @mfcbulls hold a half-time lead at AAMI Park! ????

Jake Hollman’s fifth goal of the season gives Mile Sterjovski’s side something to protect in the second half.

Tune in on Paramount+ ????

???? https://t.co/yEsAiOAmJu#MVCvMAC #ALM pic.twitter.com/BBcjiP465Q

— Isuzu UTE A-League (@aleaguemen) February 10, 2024

Popovic’s Bulls counterpart Mile Sterjovski added: “Maybe it does (need to be introduced). Two weeks in a row where it’s very close. 

“It’s hard to see from the sideline. The officials maybe have a better view, the guys in VAR.

“We have to trust their opinion and go from there.”

Victory should have got something out of the game regardless.

Popovic’s charges had 29 shots (six on target) to six (one), but with nine saves Kurto turned on a goalkeeping masterclass.

“The star of the match was Fil Kurto – he had an outstanding game, saved us on a number of occasions,” Sterjovski said.

You are out of this world, Filip Kurto ????

What a performance ????
#MVCvMAC #WeAreTheBulls pic.twitter.com/cJrkBuxKGR

— Macarthur FC (@mfcbulls) February 10, 2024

Macarthur (28 points) jump to third on the table ahead of Victory (27 points), who are now winless in five.

“We were poor today in the first half,” Popovic said.

“It was too slow, it was laboured, it was forced. It’s the first time this year I can say we didn’t play our football.”

Victory take on crosstown rivals Melbourne City – 5-1 losers at Brisbane Roar on Saturday – next weekend, with both sides looking to bounce back.

“We need a reaction,” Popovic said.

“We shouldn’t need a derby to play well. We need to get a good reaction next week, get the performance right and that will give us a chance.”

Popovic confirmed out-of-form winger Chris Ikonomidis, who had been linked to a move to Adelaide, had been dropped.

Adama Traore will be monitored after complaining of upper-leg tightness.

Macarthur are at home for an AFC Cup clash with Malaysian club Sabah on Tuesday, before hosting league leaders Wellington next Sunday.

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Bulls skipper Ulises Davila will be available for Tuesday after he was rested against Victory to manage a pre-existing injury.

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