Valere Germain completed his hat-trick with an unbelievable 93rd-minute goal as Macarthur FC prevailed 4-3 against 10-man Western Sydney Wanderers in an Isuzu UTE A-League classic.
Just as the chaotic fixture was heading for a draw on Sunday, French star Germain popped up with a header in the third minute of stoppage time, though substitute goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas was convinced he had stopped the ball from crossing the line.
Back in Australia following the AFC Asian Cup in Qatar, Thomas scrambled to keep the ball out of the net but despite a VAR review, the goal was given as Germain and the Bulls celebrated an incredible win in Campbelltown.
The official word regarding the VAR review was that the video assistant referee can only review available angles and there weren’t enough camera angles to overturn the on-field decision of goal.
The Wanderers had played more then 30 minutes with 10 men after Tom Beadling was sent off.
With the result, Macarthur moved up to fourth in the standings after 15 rounds, a point ahead of fifth-placed Western Sydney.
The battle of the west was thrilling from the get-go in a first half that saw six goals scored.
After Ulises Davila hit the crossbar in the 16th minute, Macarthur were awarded a penalty for a handball moments later and Germain stepped up to convert with ease.
Macarthur’s lead was short-lived, however, and it was a sign of things to come.
The Wanderers hit back within two minutes via Brook, who combine with Marcus Antonsson after a Bulls turnover and the former finished emphatically in the 20th minute.
Western Sydney then hit the front when Milanovic’s header snuck in inside of the post, with Macarthur their own worst enemy having given the ball away in their own back third.
The Bulls almost equalised just past the half-hour mark but Raphael was thwarted Daniel Margush but the Macarthur winger would not be denied again a minute later.
Having received the ball on the wing, Raphael glided past his opponent before side-stepping another defender and faking a shot as he almost walked the ball into the net.
The topsy-turvy first half continued when the Antonsson-Brook combination yielded another goal in the 42nd minute. This time, the Swede picked out Brook with a sublime cross and the latter glanced his header into the back of the net.
But with almost the last kick of the half, Macarthur equalised deep into stoppage time – Tomislav Uskok’s header went across the six-yard box and straight onto the head of Germain, who made no mistake.
The Wanderers were forced into a change at half-time as Lawrence Thomas – back in Australia following the AFC Asian Cup in Qatar where the Socceroos lost in the quarter-finals – replaced Margush due to concussion.
There was a flashpoint eight minutes into the second half when Beadling saw red for a foul on Davila, which saw tempers boil over.
Beadling was dismissed having gone through Davila late and the Mexican’s Macarthur teammates were quick to surround the Wanderers defender as a mini melee ensued.
Macarthur tried to make the most of their numerical advantage but the 10 men of Western Sydney stayed resolute and proved to be stubborn opposition.
They also provided a threat in attack as Filip Kurto got down low to deny Brook a hat-trick with 12 minutes remaining.
Macarthur had the final say at the death when Germain’s last-gasp header was ruled to have crossed the line, despite protests from Thomas and the Wanderers.