Last night’s 1-1 thriller at Campbelltown Stadium between the Bulls and Newcastle had everything you could ask from a top level football match.
It certainly deserved a better attendance than the 4500 fans who were fortunate to witness a very entertaining game of soccer.
The visitors grabbed the lead after just nine minutes into the game, and for the next 80 minutes Macarthur FC threw everything it had trying to avoid a fourth defeat in a row for the first time in their short history.
But try as they might, the Bulls could not find a way through the Jets defence.
When they did, just two minutes into the second half, skipper Ulises Davila was ruled to have been offside when the ball was crossed to him.
The referee called it a goal, but was overruled by the VAR, soccer’s review system – the crowd responding with noisy boos.
Six minutes was added to play, and as usually happens in such circumstances – one team down 1-0 and desperate to avoid defeat – the drama escalated as the Bulls peppered the Jets penalty area with cross after cross.
The Jets, who boast a tall defensive line, comfortably handled the aerial assault from the home side.
Fans were certain the Bulls should have received a penalty at one stage, but the referee disagreed.
Then, with less than 60 seconds left, Lachie Rose, who came in as a substitute late, was pushed from behind just metres from the goal and to the cheers of the crowd – who sounded like there were more than 10,000 of them – a penalty was awarded to the Bulls.
Everyone holds their breath as Valere Germain prepares to take the penalty, but there was no need to worry – the Frenchman buries the ball into the net and everyone goes wild – Vive la France.
Head coach Mile Sterjovski was being hugged by his assistants so vigorously you’d think the Bulls had won the A-League premiership.
But who knows, rescuing this game could prove to be a turning point for the Bulls.
They certainly had a dig after going down 1-0, fighting for every scrap, especially in the second stanza.
And salvaging one point meant they stay in the top four for now.
Next week the Bulls take on bottom placed Western United.
But even though it’s a home game it will be played at Parramatta on Friday, January 12 as part of the A-League’s inaugural United Round, with all six Round 12 matches to be played in Sydney.