Macarthur take all three points in first clash of season


After a tough contest, the Western Sydney Wanderers were downed 1-0 by A-League newcomers Macarthur FC.

Spanish substitute Benat Extebarria’s second-half free-kick deflected off skipper Mark Milligan to score the only goal of the match.

Macarthur did have keeper Adam Federici to thank for taking all three points, with the Socceroo gloveman making four outstanding saves, including one in stoppage-time to deny Kwame Yeboah.

Despite the result, there was many positives for Carl Robinson’s men’s to take.

Club debuts to five players including goalkeeper Daniel Margush, Scotsman Graham Dorrans, and attacks Bernie Ibini and James Troisi showed what’s to come for the Red & Black.

Key moments

Early Wanderers penalty overturned by VAR

After a hard-fought opening 10 minutes, the Wanderers looked like getting a great chance to take the lead when referee Kurt Ams adjudged that Graham Dorrans’ long-range shot hit the arm of Aleksandar Jovanovic.

But after consultation with the VAR, Ams reversed the decision – and Jovanovic’s yellow card – in a huge let-off for the competition newcomers.

Referee Kurt Ams reverses his penalty decision

Najjar can’t hit the target with his head

The reprieve seemed to inspire Macarthur and 10 minutes later they almost took the lead through youngster Moudi Najjar.

Ivan Franjic was allowed plenty of time and space on the right to measure a teasing cross into the box.

While it was too high for Matt Derbyshire, Najjar arrived ahead of his marker to head towards goal but just over the bar.

Federici keeps out Cox bullet

It was the Wanderers that ended the half the stronger and they went close with a couple of opportunities just before the break.

The best of them fell to Simon Cox after Tate Russell bolted down the right win and squared the ball to the Englishman at the top of the box.

Cox hit his shot with power and precision but Bulls keeper Adam Federici managed to tip it over the bar.

Offside flag denies Bulls the lead

The end-to-end nature of the contest continued after the break with chances at both ends in the first five minutes.

First James Troisi drew another excellent save from Federici, with the Macarthur gloveman getting down low to his left to deny the Wanderers recruits driving run and shot.

Then just a minute later the impressive Rose had the ball in the back of the net after great work from James Meredith on the left but the Bulls winger was correctly adjudged to be offside.

Wanderers v Macarthur

Federici shows his class again

The Wanderers continued to carve out opportunities at the start of the second half but again found Federici in a defiant mood on 55 minutes.

A patient build-up from the hosts ended with Keanu Baccus unleashing a venomous shot that looked destined for the top corner.

But a full-stretch Federici showed his quality with a stunning stop to keep scores level.

Benat and Milligan combine for opener

Extebarria had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes but produced a historic moment for the competition new-boys.

After the visitors won a free-kick outside the box, the Spaniard’s strike took a massive deflection which wrong-footed Daniel Margush and into the back of the net.