Macarthur fight back for dazzling draw in long-awaited return

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Macarthur were welcomed back to both Campbelltown and the A-League Men after over a month’s absence on Tuesday night. Their dramatic, late fightback against Western United gave neutrals everything they could have longed for.

Macarthur’s first starting line-up since their Boxing Day loss to Sydney FC actually looked bolstered, with the arrival of former Socceroos frontman Apostolos Giannou and return of captain Ulises Dávila to the bench.

Western United made six changes to their side that beat Melbourne City just days earlier, with Christian Theoharous and Nicholas Milanovic making their first starts for the club.

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A slightly over-casual Bulls backline showed the early signs of a football-starved hangover.

Theoharous’ liveliness payed dividends after a quarter of an hour, when he played through the overlapping Ben Garrucio. A low cross then found the sweeping boot of Nicolas Milanovic, who gave the visitors the lead with his first A-League Men’s goal.

The home crowd roaring their frustration given the potential foul on Daniel De Silva that gave Western United possession further up the pitch.

Barks and groans turned to gasps when Giannou was denied just moments later.

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The home team slowly pinned Western United back later in the half, and stand-in captain Craig Noone was characteristically creative down Macarthur’s right side. A quality cross into Giannou went unrewarded when one veteran headed straight into the chest of another in Jamie Young.

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The game would burst into life in the 72nd minute. Starting when the pace of Lachlan Wales burned Moudi Najjar, and his cross was finished tidily by substitute Aleksandar Prijović.

Another super sub would emerge just two minutes later, when Lachlan Rose snatched the ball and curled it into the top-right corner to regain hope for the home side with under 15 minutes to play. His third goal of the season breathing life into a seemingly draining Macarthur team.

Tomsilav Uskok then thundered home a header from an 87th minute corner which took a big deflection off Leo Lacroix and bounced off the gloves of Young and into the roof of the net to make it 2-2. A reward for Macarthur’s attacking surge since closing the gap.

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Both sides will feature again on the weekend, when no doubt some weary legs from tonight’s intense fight will need to be rested.

Macarthur FC 2 (Lachlan Rose 77′, Leo Lacroix OG 87′)

Western United 2 (Milanovic 16′, Prijović 74′)

Campbelltown Sports Stadium

Referee: Tim Danaskos

Macarthur FC: Filip KURTO (GK), Craig NOONE (c)(66′), Tomislav USKOK, Aleksandar JOVANOVIC, Aleksandar ŠUŠNJAR(74′), Tommy OAR, Jordon MUTCH(45′), Daniel DE SILVA, Charles M’MOMBWA, Jake HOLLMAN(66′), Apostolos GIANNOU(74′), Ulises DÁVILA(45′), Al Hassan TOURE (66′), Moudi NAJJAR(66′), Lachlan ROSE(74′), James MEREDITH(74′),

Unused Subs: Nick SUMAN (GK), Jake MCGING

Western United Jamie YOUNG (GK), Tomoki IMAI(61′), Léo LACROIX, Nicolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), Ben GARRUCIO, Steven LUSTICA, Jerry SKOTADIS(61′), Nicolas MILANOVIC(63′), Dylan PIERIAS, Christian THEOHAROUS(45′), Dylan WENZEL-HALLS, Connor PAIN(45′), Josh RISDON(61′), Neil KILKENNY(61′), Aleksandar PRIJOVIĆ(63′), Lachlan WALES(63′)

Unused Subs Ryan SCOTT (GK), Noah BOTIC

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Tom Macrae
Tom Macraehttp://medium.com/@macraetomr23
Communications undergrad at Western Sydney University covering Macarthur FC in the 2021/22 season. Newcastle United. Jack Grealish fangirl.

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