A stunning strike from substitute Steven Ugarkovic has seen Newcastle Jets escape with a 2-2 draw against Macarthur FC at Campbelltown on Sunday night.
Ugarkovic entered the fray at the start of the second half with the Jets trailing 2-1 but took less than 12 minutes to make his mark.
The classy midfielder struck his first goal in over a year and it was worth the wait, scorching into the top corner for one of the goals of the campaign.
It came after an entertaining first half where the Jets took the lead through a Roy O’Donovan penalty before the Bulls turned things around with two excellent goals.
Charles M’Mombwa – on his first A-League start – drew the Bulls level on 35 minutes before Loic Puyo struck in stoppage-time as the home side hit top gear.
But Ante Milicic’s side couldn’t go on with the job, increasing their winless run to three matches.
It’s a draw for a second straight match for the Jets, who remain second from bottom on the ladder and winless in their last nine games.
O’Donovan hot from the spot
Macarthur had made the most of the early running but found themselves behind after 27 minutes via a penalty.
Valentino Yuel got to the ball just before Mark Milligan, with the contact from the Bulls skipper enough to convince the referee to award a penalty.
After consulting VAR the penalty decision stood, with O’Donovan holding his nerve to blast past Adam Federici to put the Jets in front.
Memorable moment for Bulls youngster
After a handful of substitute appearances, M’Mombwa was in from the start for this one and made his chance count 10 minutes before the break.
Tommy Oar’s ball down the line was mis-controlled by Lachlan Jackson, allowing Matt Derbyshire to drive towards the Jets box.
The Englishman then played the ball into the path of M’Mombwa who slotted it past the keeper before running off to celebrate an unforgettable moment.
Puyo finishes off slick counter attack
Just when it looked like the sides would go to the sheds all square, the Bulls struck in the third minute of stoppage-time.
M’Mombwa started the attack with a deft flick into the path of Benat Extebarria, who surged deep into Jets territory and passing to Derbyshire.
The Bulls striker completed his second assist of the match, finding Puyo in the centre for a simple finish.
Ugarkovic makes immediate impact
Jets boss Craig Deans opted to introduce Ugarkovic at the break and the move was vindicated just 11 minutes later.
Valentino Yuel played a clever ball into the feet of Luka Prso in the box, but with his back to goal he passed back to Ugarkovic just outside the area.
The midfielder hit a first-time effort which blazed past Adam Federici into the top corner of the net, his first A-League goal in 13 months.
Benat almost catches out Italiano
Both sides pushed hard for a winner, with Extebarria going close for Macarthur inside the last 20 minutes.
The Spanish playmaker tried his luck from distance with a wicked free-kick that dipped late and almost dropped under the crossbar of Lewis Italiano.
Macarthur FC v Melbourne City
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Kick-off: 7.10pm (AEST)
Melbourne City v Newcastle Jets
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Kick-off: 7.05pm (AEST)