Macarthur captain Ulises Davila led the Bulls to a sensational 4-2 victory over Perth Glory in the men’s A-League clash at Campbelltown Stadium.
The Mexican scored a penalty, won another kick for Craig Noone to convert, then set up Al Hassan Toure as the Bulls overcame a two-goal deficit and were a man down to end a streak of three games without a win.
Toure came on as provider for fellow countryman Moudi Najjar six minutes into stoppage time to complete the comeback with Macarthur’s fourth goal.
Giordano Colli’s first-minute opener and Trent Ostler’s first ALM goal had given Glory two goals in 20 minutes, but Macarthur’s response meant Perth were winless in 10 games.
The Bulls’ victory, which puts them third in the table, came despite Charles M’Mombwa being sent off for a second yellow card midway through the second half.
“We are so lucky to have a player of his caliber at the football club and I’m so proud to have him as captain,” Bulls manager Ante Milicic said of Davila.
“He leads on and off the pitch but tonight he showed his quality. He stepped up.
“When a team goes through a bit of adversity and then when you’re down, that’s when you see if you’re a real player who wants the ball… when things weren’t going well for us, he has said he was going to make a difference and he did.”
Colli’s free-kick after 44 seconds – the ALM’s fastest goal this season – gave last-placed Glory the perfect start.
Things got even better for the visitors in the 18th minute when Ostler, who was celebrating his 20th birthday with his first ALM start, fired from close range to make it 2-0 at the Glory.
It took a slice of fortune for Macarthur to get on the scoreboard despite their dominance.
Defender Darryl Lachman was surprised when Davila missed a header inside the box, unable to react when the ball hit his arm.
Referee Jonathan Barreiro checked a replay on the pitchside monitor and awarded the penalty which Davila converted.
Macarthur received another penalty when Davila’s shot was blocked by Jonathan Aspropotamitis’ arm 10 minutes into the second half, which Noone scored despite Liam Reddy putting his fingertips on the ball.
Just when the hosts began to feel they could push for a winner, the game turned again when M’Mombwa received his second yellow card after encroaching to block another Colli free-kick in the 66th minute. .
Encouraged, Perth threw everything into the game with substitutes Callum Timmins and Ciaran Bramwell both missing great chances late in the second half.
The Glory were punished for those missed chances in the 82nd minute when Davila’s defensive pass found substitute Toure who fired home to put the Bulls ahead.
Victory was sealed in the 96th minute when Toure linked up with Najjar to complete a quick counter-attack and put the icing on the cake for the Bulls.
“I’m really proud of their efforts,” Glory interim coach Ruben Zadkovich said.
“I’m proud of the way they conducted their business but more obviously a bit disappointed not to get something out of this game because I think we did enough to take something.”
Australian Associated Press