The 100 club: Data surprises as 12th team reaches big Isuzu UTE A-League milestone

Macarthur FC will become the 12th side to play 100 Isuzu UTE A-League matches when they host Melbourne City this Friday night. Opta data examines how they stack up against every other club to reach the milestone.

Friday’s clash with Melbourne City will be a crucial one for Macarthur FC in their bid for a maiden Isuzu UTE A-League crown. 

With six points separating Macarthur in fourth from City in seventh ahead of that meeting at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Mile Sterjovski’s men have an opportunity to strengthen their grip on a final series qualification spot.

The game will also be a notable one for another reason, however, as Macarthur become the 12th side to play 100 A-League matches. 

It’s fair to say Macarthur have experienced plenty of highs and lows in their short history.


Within four years of their first A-League game, a 1-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers in December 2020, Macarthur have reached the last four of the final series in 2021, lifted silverware in the form of the Australia Cup in 2022 and finished bottom of the pile in 2022-23.

The data bears out the sense that Macarthur’s time in the division has occasionally been thrilling, sometimes been excruciating, but never been dull.

Indeed, the Bulls have scored 139 goals through their first 99 games in the A-League, with only three teams netting more in their first century of matches in the competition. Melbourne Victory led the way on that front with 164 goals, with Western United and Sydney FC scoring 142 apiece. 

At the other end, meanwhile, Macarthur have conceded 166 goals in their A-League history, more than any other team has shipped through their first 100 games. 

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Conceding a league-high 48 goals as they propped up the table last season didn’t help on that front, and Sterjovski hasn’t exactly managed to tighten up their backline this season, with Macarthur’s 33 goals against coming from a league-high figure of 368 shots faced. They have been fortunate not to concede more in 2023-24, as those shots translate to 37.48 expected goals against (xGA). 

However, Macarthur’s impressive frontline has them eyeing their best-ever A-League finish this term, with skipper Ulises Davila and veteran striker Valere Germain leading the way. 

Since swapping Wellington for Sydney in 2021, Davila has become one of the most important players in Macarthur’s history. His total of 23 A-League goal involvements (18 goals, five assists) is more than anyone else has managed for the club.


His 18 goals are also more than any other Bulls player, with former striker Matt Derbyshire second in both charts (14 goals, 19 total goal contributions). Germain is already well on his way to cracking the top two in his first campaign Down Under, though, scoring 11 A-league goals and adding five assists in just 19 appearances so far.

Davila – whose contract with Macarthur expires at the end of the season – looks highly unlikely to ever become the club’s all-time leading appearance-maker in the A-League, though.

Five current teammates are ahead of the Mexican on that front, with striker Lachlan Rose out in front with 76 league appearances. Filip Kurto (67), Jake Hollman (66), Tomislav Uskok (62) and Charles M’Mombwa (58) are the others to better Davila’s 54 A-League games for Macarthur. 

While Macarthur may be looking up this season, their overall record through 99 games does not compare all that favourably to other teams to bring up a century.

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The Bulls have managed 35 wins, 25 draws and 39 defeats through their first 99 games in the A-League, averaging 1.31 points per game. 

Of the 11 previous teams to play 100 matches, eight bettered that figure through their first century, with Melbourne Victory (1.67) boasting the best return of that group. 

The Victory won 48 of their first 100 A-League games, also a league-high figure which is hardly surprising given they captured the title twice in their first four campaigns. 

At the other end of the scale, Melbourne City won the fewest games (26) and scored the fewest goals (110) in their first 100 games, while their return of 1.07 points per game was also the worst of any team to reach the landmark. 

City are, of course, the side looking to gatecrash Macarthur’s party on Friday, and the omens are not great for Sterjovski’s side. 

Just four of the previous 11 teams to reach triple figures won their 100th A-league game, with Central Coast Mariners, Sydney FC, Wellington Phoenix and City the triumphant quartet.

Macarthur also have a dismal record against City, the only side they are yet to beat in the A-League to date. They have drawn three and lost five of their eight previous matches against them, taking 0.38 points per game from those head-to-head clashes. Against no other side do they have a worse record.  

However, City come into the match short of their best form, winless in their last four Isuzu UTE A-League games (two draws, two defeats), their longest run without a victory since they had six in a row between January and March 2019 (three draws, three defeats).

They have also taken just one point from their last five A-League road trips, shipping 10 goals in their last three, with nine coming in two losses to Perth Glory (2-4) and Brisbane Roar (1-5).

Boasting one of the most lethal frontlines in Australian football, Macarthur will back themselves to celebrate their century with three important points on Friday.

From there, the Bulls may just fancy their chances of writing a new chapter in their short history, perhaps the most exciting one yet.