Reds lose in Seven-goal thriller

Macarthur FC took the lead after a dramatic 4-3 win over Adelaide United on Monday night.

Macarthur led twice in the first half through Valère Germain and Matt Millar, but Adelaide pegged them back on both occasions, with Zach Clough and Giuseppe Bovalina finding the equalisers before Clough popped up again in the second half to fire the Reds into a 3-2 lead.

But there was to be a late twist, with quick-fire goals to Jake Hollman and Ulises Dávila swinging momentum back in favour of the Bulls late in the second half.

Macarthur took the lead in a seesawing first half after just eight minutes when a low, curling free-kick from the edge of the area by Clayton Lewis was poked past Reds keeper Joe Gauci by Germain.

But the home side did not hold the lead for long, with Clough putting a clinical finish on a stellar assist from Bayern Munich-bound Nestory Irankunda in the 17th minute.

Irankunda was given far too much room to collect possession and drive down the right wing, breezing past Raphael Borges Rodrigues and outmuscling Ivan Vujica the ball back toward the penalty spot from the byline and finding Clough to finish.

Macarthur captain Ulises Dávila followed Irankunda’s lead, providing an eye-catching assist of his own to help his side reclaim a first-half lead.

Taking the ball on the turn at the halfway line, Dávila looked up to see Millar piercing the space between a pair of Adelaide defenders, and picked out his run with a through ball played off the outside of his left foot.

But there was more drama to come in an action-packed first half; Ryan Kitto played an inviting cross into the box for 19-year-old Reds defender Bovalina to attack – and he gladly obliged, thumping a towering header past Kurto to make it 2-2 shortly before the break.

Irankunda threatened to break the deadlock soon after half-time, driving down the right side of the penalty area and lashing a shot just wide of the bottom-left corner.

Clough, however, showed no such inaccuracy in the 53rd minute to score his second of the night, arriving in the box to meet a dangerous cross from Ben Halloran to finish past Kurto, who got plenty of purchase on the Clough strike but failed to keep it out of his net.

Play paused while the VAR assessed whether Halloran had strayed offside in the build-up, but the decision stood thanks to Ivan Vujica who had kept the Reds winger onside.

The drama wasn’t about to end there; Adelaide had come from behind twice to lead at Campbelltown Stadium, but the hosts struck back with less than 10 minutes to play. Their equaliser at 3-3 came from a rampant counter-attack after an Adelaide corner.

It seemed as though the chance had gone begging when Germain delayed on Daniel De Silva’s through pass, but his cross ricocheted off bodies before falling to Jake Hollman to finish.

Minutes later, Macarthur reclaimed their lead in an all-action second half. Jed Drew was the provider, and captain Dávila was the converter, sliding in to squeeze a first-time shot through bodies and past Gauci into the back of the net.

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