Macarthur FC pulled off a miraculous victory, fighting back from a goal down with 10 men to beat Newcastle Jets 2-1 and retain top spot on the A-League Men table.
Bulls goalkeeper Filip Kurto was sent off in the 18th minute of Sunday's clash at Campbelltown Stadium and Newcastle snatched the lead through Beka Mikeltadze's wonderful free kick 17 minutes later. But Macarthur wouldn't lie down and Danny De Silva equalised with a brilliant volley three minutes after half-time, then teed up James Meredith to head home the winner in the 84th minute.
Both clubs had the disruption of COVID-19 cases during the week but the game got off to a lively start before being plunged into chaos. Valentino Yuel burst forward and Kurto came out of his box and went through the in-form striker.
Referee Alex King immediately stopped play to send Kurto off, electing not to play advantage -- which left the Jets frustrated as Olivier Boumal had put the ball in the net. Youngster Nick Suman replaced Kurto in between the sticks and was tested by Daniel Penha and Boumal before Newcastle's breakthrough came.
After Mikeltadze was pushed in the back, the Georgian stepped up and fizzed a wonderful strike through the diving Suman's outstretched palm.
Two minutes into the second half, Newcastle spurned a golden opportunity when Yuel just over-hit his attempt to find Boumal at the back post.
A minute later, Macarthur equalised in spectacular fashion. Craig Noone lifted a cross towards De Silva, who smashed home a brilliant volley.
Macarthur's winner came late, after Newcastle youngster Sam Silvera gave away a sloppy free kick in a dangerous area. De Silva looped his free kick towards the back post and Meredith's bullet header proved unstoppable.
Newcastle skipper Matt Jurman was unhappy when Bulls youngster Lachie Rose got away with a yellow card for a raking studs-up challenge on his leg in the dying minutes.
It was Macarthur's first game back at Campbelltown Stadium since the pitch was deemed fit to play, but the playing surface still looked patchy.