Macarthur move third in ALM with win over wasteful Roar

Joel Gould |

The Bulls have roared home to win in Brisbane and go third in the ALM standings.
The Bulls have roared home to win in Brisbane and go third in the ALM standings.

Macarthur FC have moved up to third on the A-League Men ladder and put a dagger in the heart of Brisbane’s finals hopes with a 2-1 win at Ballymore.

It was the inaugural ALM game at the home of Queensland rugby, but try as they might the Roar were unable to make the most of multiple chances on Saturday.

The loss leave them eighth on 26 points, three away from the top six with five games to play.

The hosts went ahead in the 14th minute, when a shot from Brisbane attacking maestro Marco Rojas was deflected by goalkeeper Filip Kurto and Florin Berenguer was on hand to convert.

Macarthur keeper Filip Kurto can't stop Florin Berenguer scoring.
Macarthur keeper Filip Kurto can only watch as Florin Berenguer puts Brisbane ahead at Ballymore. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

Tomislav Uskok headed home the Bulls’ equaliser after a curling corner by Clayton Lewis 12 minutes later.

It was poor defending by the Roar to allow Macarthur’s opening goal – and it got worse in the 42nd minute when they repeatedly failed to clear.

When the ball eventually ricocheted to Raphael on the edge of the box via a difficult bounce, he showed masterful control to let rip with a right-foot shot. 

Brisbane had enough possession to win the game but were unable to take their chances.

In the 74th minute, striker Thomas Waddingham sprayed a golden chance over the bar from close range.

Five minutes later Rojas went on a weaving run and his shot thundered into the woodwork. 

Rojas was the home side’s best and has now been involved directly in six goals in his last seven starts in the ALM – three strikes of his own and three assists.

The visitors showed great composure under pressure to thwart the Roar’s surge in the closing 15 minutes.

Macarthur coach Mile Sterjovski was impressed with his side’s resilience.

“We weathered the storm pretty well and got back into the match,” he said.

“I was pleased with the effort, the last 15 (minutes) was very difficult. 

“They mounted a lot of pressure but we didn’t concede. I am very pleased.”

Roar coach Ruben Zadkovich said his side played some “top shelf” football but rued errors at either end.

He insisted he had not given up hope of playing finals.

“So long as there is a mathematical chance the group will push for that. They definitely want to play finals,” he said.

“Tonight our football was definitely good enough, but in both boxes – in the key moments – we weren’t there.”