City deny Macarthur with late, late penalty to earn point in 3-3 thriller

Watch all the highlights from a crazy 3-3 draw between Melbourne City and Macarthur FC.

A late penalty from Terry Antonis has allowed Melbourne City to snatch a point from Macarthur FC after a crazy finale at AAMI Park featuring four goals in 10 minutes at the end.

Leading by Jamie Maclaren’s goal early in the second half, City were shocked as Macarthur went 3-1 with three minutes left and looked like they would go clear at the top of the Isuzu UTE A-League.

But Maclaren’s second goal prompted a barnstorming finish from the Premiers under new coach Aurelio Vidmar and in injury time Antonis converted a spotkick after Alex Lopane was felled by Jonathan Aspropotamitis to ensure honours finished even.

Macarthur meanwhile, who finished last season a miserable last, were left with a draw that felt like a defeat – though only goal difference is keeping them off the summit for now.

City had begun on the front foot, Leo Natale set up well on the edge of the box but pulling his shot wide, and Macarthur sat deep for much of the first hour. Natal missed another great chance after dribbling into the box, but his blushes were spared a minute later when Nuno Reis’s angled pass released Scott Galloway for a low cross converted by Maclaren.

It felt like a decisive breakthrough but moments later Raphael Borges Rodrigues – who left City last year in search of first team football – carved his old side’s defence open with a dribble and pass for Ulises Davila to chip the ball beautifully beyond Jamie Young.

City looked stunned and tried to reassert their earlier control – but with seven minutes left Ivan Vujica combined with Matt Millar and Davila to cut them apart, the ball falling for Jake Hollman to volley Macarthur ahead.

Four minutes later Davila’s glorious through pass released Millar to shoot beyond Young and Macarthur looked home and hosed, even when Maclaren deflected in Samuel Souprayen’s flick in.

As City pursuded an equalised, Aspropotamitis was lured in by Lopane and tripped the City winger. Antonis made him pay.


Every team needs a player whose mastery of the ball – and of time and space around them – is of the sort to make fans queue to pay to see them. Ulises Davila has all that in spades and put on a masterclass that should by rights have been rewarded by seeing his side top of the league.

His was the beautiful finish to earn parity when his side had just gone a goal down, and then two peerless passes helped the Bulls go two goals ahead. In the end City pegged them back but Davila – 18 months after the awful death of his wife – looks in the sort of form that could inspire a productive season at Macarthur.

Davila runs at Melbourne City defenders at AAMI Park.


When Melbourne City earned a penalty 93 minutes into the contest, there wasn’t just a point at stake. Jamie Maclaren had two goals to his name and a hattrick beckoned for City’s nominated penalty taker. Instead he passed the ball to Terry Antonis who scored with aplomb – but this was a rare moment of lacking confidence from City’s captain, who admitted afterwards to having second thoughts after missing his last penalty.

Aurelio Vidmar said he was happy for his players to decide who takes City’s penalties, but will surely expect Maclaren to resume duties as soon as possible.


Melbourne City’s Aurelio Vidmar: “It’s a slight ‘win’ but generally I wasn’t pleased with how we played today. The positive was the last five minutes when we were down and out and at least we showed some fight to come back when a lot of teams wouldn’t.

“There’s a fair bit to work on (in the international break) and we’ll hit the track next week to do that.”

Macarthur’s Mile Sterjovski: “It’s heartbreaking after we showed great character and got to 3-1 but then we sort of lost our heads a bit. But we’ll take a point and in the past the boys might have given up (when going behind) so I’m proud of them.

“It’s still disappointing as I felt in the second half we played some good football and should have seen the game out.”