Son of a gun scores twice as rampaging Bulls pile more misery on City

Check out all the highlights from the Round 19 Isuzu UTE A-League clash between Macarthur FC and Melbourne City

Macarthur FC are up into third on the Isuzu UTE A-League ladder after Bernardo Oliveira’s double and a Filip Kurto masterclass helped fire them to a 2-0 win over Melbourne City.

With both sides deadlocked at half time the breakthrough came shortly after the restart as Bernardo found himself in the right place at the right time to fire home the opener after Jamie Young had initially saved Raphael’s effort.

The young winger then bagged his and Macarthur’s second of the evening in the 57th minute, this time curling home a beautiful effort from inside the box.

Bulls keeper Filip Kurto then produced three stunning saves in the last 15 minutes of the game to preserve a clean sheet and ensure Macarthur enjoyed a win in what was their 100th Isuzu UTE A-League game.

“Very pleased with the performance, I thought everyone put in a great shift,” said Macarthur boss Mile Sterjovski when speaking to Paramount+. ‘Very composed for the whole match and I I felt like we deserved the win.

He continued: “It’s good to be playing this way leading into the back end of the season and I’ve got a few more players to come back as well so (we’re) heading in the right direction.

“We can get first spot, right? Mathematically we can so we’re very driven.

He continued: “We want to win every game. We’ve got a few boys coming back in the next few weeks so we’re very driven to finish the season strong and we’re aiming for top spot.”

The result moves Macarthur up into third spot on the ladder while defeat for Melbourne City means they’ve now gone five games without a win and could find themselves five points outside the finals positions come the end of the round.

Following what was close to a 45-minute delay due to lightning strikes in the area it was City who fashioned the first chance of the game in the 10th minute; midfielder Marin Jakolis pouncing on a loose ball inside the box but his shot found the post rather than the bottom corner.

A minute later Bulls captain Ulises Davila flicked a header from a wide corner towards goal but Melbourne City keeper Jamie Young was equal to the effort, producing an excellent save to tip the ball away to safety.

Macarthur thought they’d taken the lead in the 21st minute after Jake Hollman headed home a brilliant cross from Clayton Lewis but the goalscorer had strayed beyond the last defender and the official’s initial call of offside was the correct one.

Coming into the game on the back of an eight-game goalless run Melbourne City captain Jamie Maclaren had his first chance of the match in the 31st minute but the striker scuffed his effort wide of the target after some good work by Vicente Fernandez down the left.

Maclaren then went closer on the approach to half time, combining with Fernandez once more but couldn’t steer his header towards goal after climbing highest above the Macarthur defence.

However it was the Bulls who were largely the more dominant in the first half and they continued that after the break as they broke the deadlock two minutes after the restart.

A powerful run from former City winger Raphael Borges Rodrigues down the Bulls’ right saw him beat both Vicente Fernandez and then Curtis Good and while his fierce shot was saved by Jamie Young, the City keeper could only parry the ball into the path of Bernardo Oliveira who couldn’t miss with the goal gaping.

Ten minutes later the home side doubled their lead and it was Bernardo who applied the finishing touch once again.

After driving towards the City box, Ulises Davila laid the ball off to Bernardo who, using the decoy run of Ivan Vujica on the outside, cooly stepped inside Callum Talbot before curling a brilliant effort in off the far post to send the home crowd into raptures.

With the Bulls now dropping deeper Melbourne City had their first real chance of the second half but Andrew Nabbout was thwarted by Macarthur keeper Filip Kurto, who denied the winger from point-blank range in the 77th minute.

Two minutes later though, Kurto produced a save worthy of winning any match. Afforded time and space on the edge of the Bulls’ box, City substitute Alessandro Lopane pulled the trigger from 20 metres out but Kurto sprang to his right and tipped the ball onto the post to ensure the scoreline remained at 2-0.

Kurto then produced another stunning save in the dying seconds to thwart Lopane once again, this time saving the midfielder’s powerful shot from inside the box with his head as Macarthur held on to secure a vital win which moves them into third on the ladder.