A superb strike from wantaway Newcastle Jets midfielder Steven Ugarkovic has halted the momentum of the Macarthur Bulls as they played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in Campbelltown.
Eyeing off a finals spot in their first season in the A-League, the result is a missed opportunity for the Bulls against a lowly Newcastle outfit.
Macarthur will now be looking nervously over their shoulders at the likes of Brisbane and Western United, who can close in on their top six place with games in hand.
At 2-1 up in the second half, it looked as though Macarthur would be too strong for a Jets side that had gone eight games without a win but Ugarkovic, who is set to move to Western Sydney next season, placed a stinging shot from long range in the top corner to salvage a point.
The moment of the first half came with the first A-League goal of 23-year-old Charles M’Mbombwa who was played through by Matt Derbyshire and finished off a sweeping move with a slick finish and vibrant celebration in front of his loved ones.
“It’s a very special moment for me and my family. It’s been a long road, I’ve got friends who have been following my journey and supporting me it was nice to celebrate with them,” M’Mbombwa said on Fox Sports after the game.
Macarthur would build on that strike and take the lead just before halftime when Derbyshire stood up once more and laid a perfect pass into the path of Frenchman Loic Puyo to finish from close range.
A penalty from Roy O’Donovan opened the scoring on Sunday evening.Source:Getty Images
Earlier, the Jets struck first for the evening when Valentino Yuel was brought down in the area by Mark Milligan allowing Roy O’Donovan to convert from the spot.
If not for a sharp Adam Federici save from O’Donovan in the 82nd minute, they may have claimed just their fourth win of the season, however back-to-back draws has helped settle a campaign that was fading away rapidly.
As a Congolese refugee who has had to rely on financial assistance from friends and family to pursue his football dream, Charles M’Mombwa has done it the hard way.
But after scoring his first ever A-League goal and celebrating with some of those loved ones, all of that would have seemed worth it.
Coach Ante Milicic admitted that he spotted the midfielder while scouting some other players in the pre-season and chose to sign him for his inaugural squad. His maiden A-League goal was a magical first half moment.
Englishman Matt Derbyshire sits second on the A-League’s golden boot chart but it was his work as a provider that stood out in this contest. He set up both of the Bulls’ goals in the first half, proving he can do more than just smash them home.
Originally published asBulls and Jets tie in tense Campbelltown clash
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