Macarthur stun Wanderers in A-League debut

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Macarthur FC put their best foot forward and announced themselves to the Hyundai A-League with a 1-0 win on debut.

Spanish maestro Benat Etxebarria and goalkeeper Adam Federici were the heroes for Macarthur. Etxebarria came from the bench to net a match-winning goal against the Western Sydney Wanderers in the 72nd minute and Federici made a number
of crucial saves throughout the match.

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With a brigade of high-profile recruits and new coach at the helm in Carl Robinson, the Wanderers were the favourite heading into the match. While they were in the contest right until the death, they simply could not match the enthusiasm of their new rivals.

The VAR was called upon twice in the early stages. As Macarthur had a penalty appeal waved away and the Wanderers were awarded a spot kick, only for it to be overturned after a lengthy review.

As the first half wore on, Macarthur began to dominate proceedings and looked increasingly threatening in attack.

Moudi Najjar placed three headed efforts fall just wide of the target, while A-League debutant Lachlan Rose caused plenty of problems for the Wanderers defence. Matt Derbyshire and Mark Milligan also had chances to break the deadlock, but neither could find the back of the net.

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The Wanderers did well to absorb the pressure applied by Macarthur throughout the first half. They almost were rewarded for their defensive efforts, as Tate Russell orchestrated two great opportunities late on, but Federici was equal to both.

Goal-scoring opportunities were exchanged in the early stages of the second half, but it was not until the 72nd minute that the opening goal finally came.

Just moments after being injected into the match for his A-League debut, Etxebarria announced himself to Australia with the breakthrough strike, as his free kick on the edge of the box took a deflection and landed in the net.

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The Wanderers went in search of an equaliser, as the likes of Nikolai Muller, Kwame Yeboah and Kosta Grozos all entered the fray.

It was impressive, in their first game together, Macarthur starved the Wanderers of any genuine chances and frustrated their opponents out of the contest.

This was until deep into stoppage time, when the Wanderers turned up the pressure gauge and had the chance to equalise. However, Federici produced some excellent stops to secure the win for Macarthur.

Western Sydney Wanderers: 0

Macarthur FC: 1 (Benat 72’)

Stadium: Bankwest Stadium

Western Sydney Wanderers: Daniel Margush (GK), Ziggy Gordon, Tass Mourdoukoutas (Jordan O’Doherty 80’), Dylan McGowan, Tate Russell (Thomas Aquilina 73’), Keanu Baccus, Graham Dorrans (Kosta Grozos 73’), Daniel Georgievski, James Troisi, Simon Cox (Kwame Yeboah 73’), Bernie Ibini (Nikolai Muller 65’)

Macarthur FC: Adam Federici (GK), Ivan Franjic, Aleksandar Jovanovic, Aleksandar Susnjar, James Meredith (Antony Golec, 73’), Mark Milligan, Denis Genreau, Loic Puyo (Markel Susaeta 58’), Lachlan Rose (Benat 66’), Moudi Najjar (Jake Hollman 58’), Matt Derbyshire

Feature image credit: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

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Jye Campbell
Journalism student at Western Sydney. Love my football (#lazoumance) and rugby league (#pantherpride). Advocate for FIFA Career Modes. Covering Western Sydney Wanderers in both A-League and W-League for the 2020/21 season.

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