Goalkeeper Filip Kurto’s performance stood out for Macarthur FC when they defeated Melbourne Victory 1-0 at AAMI Park last night.
The highlight was when Kurto saved a penalty just eight minutes before full time taken by Bruno Fornaroli, the Socceroos forward.
But the Polish gloveman made numerous other saves to keep a clean sheet – and help his side to bag the three premiership points.
Kurto was especially busy in the last 15 minutes of the game when a desperate home side threw everything – and the kitchen sink – at the Bulls in a bid to salvage the game and keep intact their undefeated record this season.
The Bulls, who played a brilliant game of counter attack throughout, had struck 21 minutes into the first half when Bernardo and Jake Hollman combined down the right wing.
Hollman, who is growing in stature every game, passed the ball to Bernardo and ran in to the teeth of the defence.
Bernardo somehow threaded the needle, his pass getting through three defenders and Hollman picked it up at the byline.
His first shot was deflected back to him, and he calmly chipped it over the diving Victory goalie.
It was really impressive stuff from the Bulls youngsters, which augurs well for the future.
Macarthur FC left out their captain Ulises Davila and midfielder Kearyn Baccus, and started Lachie Rose for the first time.
The captain’s armband went to Valere Germain, who dropped back a little from his centre forward role as part of the game plan but led from the front nonetheless.
Speaking of game plans – and while Kurto was rightly named man of the match – a lot of the credit for the performance must go to head coach Mile Sterjovski and his staff.
This was some feat to go to Melbourne and shut out the team that hadn’t lost a game in 2023-24.
In only his first full year as head coach, Sterjovski looks like he’s developing into a very good mentor.
The Bulls will be back in action this Tuesday night at Campbelltown Stadium when they host Sabah FC in the zonal semi finals of the AFC Cup competition.
They will return to Campbelltown Stadium five days later on Sunday evening (February 18) in round 17 of the A-League to host competition leaders Wellington Phoenix.