2020-21 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Aleksandar Jovanovic (18')
  • Aleksandar Susnjar (58')
  • Graham Dorrans (52')
  • Simon Cox (71')

Western Sydney rally to take point off Macarthur FC

A-League new boys Macarthur FC were denied a first home win as Western Sydney Wanderers mounted a second-half comeback to earn a stirring 2-2 draw.

Unusually it was two centre-backs who took home the goal-scoring glory for the home side with Aleksandar Jovanovic and Aleksandar Susnjar netting superb headers in each half.

The two goals were sandwiched either side of a stunning Graham Dorrans goal, while Simon Cox earned the Wanderers a deserved share of the spoils in the first western derby to be played at Campbelltown Stadium.

The home side went into the contest without the influence of experienced captain Mark Milligan who sat out the match after his red card in the 3-0 defeat against Sydney FC at the same venue last weekend. The Wanderers, for their part, were protecting a four-match unbeaten streak stretching back to a 1-0 defeat against Macarthur on the opening day of the season.

Macarthur were rewarded for some early dominance when Jovanovic cleverly looped a near-post header into the net from a Benat Etxebarria corner on 18 minutes.

Macarthur played with confidence from the outset, looking fluent in possession and forcing the Wanderers into error with their high-energy pressing.

The Wanderers were unable to muster a serious effort on target until just a few minutes from the break when Tate Russell forced Adam Federici into a full stretch fingertip save.

English striker Matt Derbyshire seemed to have put the Bulls two goals to the good with the final kick of the first half, but his volleyed finish was ruled out by VAR for the narrowest of offsides.

The Wanderers came out with renewed gusto after the break and the contest suddenly turned into an open and, at times, chaotic affair.

Dorrans soon equalised with a goal that was as spectacular as it was distinctive, scoring just moments after Macarthur had taken a corner. The Scot took advantage of an Etxebarria slip, skipped through a would-be Ivan Franjic challenge, before crossing halfway and expertly launching a chipped strike over the head of retreating goalkeeper Adam Federici.

But within minutes Susnjar powered home a towering header for Macarthur's second goal direct from a corner.

There followed one of the more extraordinary goalmouth scrambles the A-League has surely ever witnessed. Wanderers' Bruce Kamau saw his shot partly blocked by a superb Federici save and the Macarthur custodian was subsequently forced to flick the loose ball off the line amid a flurry of bodies, with a follow-up shot blocked on the line before Russell contrived to hit the crossbar with his close-range follow-up effort.

Suddenly the momentum had changed. And the Wanderers were not to be denied, drawing level with 19 minutes remaining.

Cox comfortably headed home at the back post after Keanu Baccus set up the opening with a sublime flick from a corner.