Bulls get revenge as 10-man Sydney FC misfire again in attack

Wasteful finishing has once again brought Sydney FC undone, with the reigning A-League champions humbled 1-0 at home by newcomers Macarthur FC on Sunday.

The Sky Blues were reduced to 10 men just before half-time when Paulo Retre clumsily attacked a bouncing ball with raised studs, catching the leg of Bulls defender Jake McGing and prompting referee Alex King to dish out a straight red card.

It capped off a nightmare first half for Sydney, who crafted plenty of clear-cut chances but went into the sheds not only a man short but a goal down after a moment of brilliance from Macarthur’s Markel Susaeta.

The Spanish import produced a dazzling piece of skill to beat four defenders as he cut inside the left flank before passing to Matt Derbyshire, who fired home his seventh goal of the season in the 36th minute.

In truth, the Sky Blues should have been at least one or two goals up by that stage, with the absence of departed striker Adam Le Fondre and the failure to adequately replace his output keenly felt once more.

Youngster Patrick Wood, Retre and Kosta Barbarouses all failed to convert glaring one-on-one opportunities, with only the first of the three forcing a save out of Socceroos gloveman Adam Federici.

Mark Milligan of the Bulls competes for the ball against Patrick Wood.Credit:Getty

Retre came close but rattled the crossbar from point-blank range, just after the half-hour mark – not long before Derbyshire opened the scoring.

The Sky Blues, however, were left scratching their heads at why Bulls captain Mark Milligan wasn’t punished at all for taking out Barbarouses in the same passage of play – while they also fumed over King’s decision not to yellow-card Antony Golec for a bizarre intentional handball early in the half, with the defender belatedly receiving his first caution for bringing down Alex Baumjohann.

Sydney threw on Bobo as they probed for an equaliser in the second half but in the end, Macarthur did it relatively easy, taking the sting out of the game by calmly retaining possession and promptly snuffing out counter-attacks whenever they lost it.

Derbyshire came agonisingly close to killing the game off early in the second half, but hit the woodwork with his header off a corner kick from Benat Extebarria, and there were few other chances of note for the remainder of the contest.

Benat Etxebarria of the Bulls controls the ball in front of Patrick Wood.Credit:Getty

For the Bulls, it was payback for their 3-0 defeat to Sydney a month ago at Campbelltown Stadium – on that occasion, they were the ones who played out most of the match with 10 men after an early red card to Milligan.

The win, their fifth from 10 matches so far in their inaugural A-League campaign, lifts Macarthur into second spot on the ladder, one point behind ladder leaders Central Coast and six points clear of the Sky Blues, who have played two fewer games.

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