Macarthur FC have secured their place in the second week of the 2021 A-League Finals with an extra time thriller on the Central Coast against the Mariners.
With the scores locked at nil-all after 90 minutes, it was a 10 man Bulls outfit who would find the breakthrough first in the 93rd minute through Charles M’Mombwa, who finished off a Markel Susaeta rebound.
With the Mariners pushing hard for the equaliser late into the second period of extra time, Bulls striker Michael Ruhs was the benefactor of a bouncing ball out of the box. Charging upfield Ruhs faced Mariners gloveman Mark Birighitti one on one, and slotted home the match winner to set up a date with the A-League Premiers, Melbourne City.
The Bulls found the back of the net inside the first five minutes through Matt Derbyshire, in what would have been a classy goal, only to be ruled offside.
Having never beaten the Mariners in the regular season, the Bulls started fast and continued to press for the opening goal throughout the opening half.
A controversial red card shown to centre back James Meredith for a challenge on Marco Urena saw the Bulls fans up in arms, after claims of a hand ball were waved away.
With the Bulls down to 10-men for majority of the second half, it would take extra time to find a winner.
Full Time on the Central Coast – Mariners 0 Macarthur 2
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
4' | OFFSIDE! Derbyshire hits the back of the net but is called offside.
11' | CHANCE!! Meredith rises highest in the box but his touch his saved by Birighitti.
13' | SAVE! Federici claims the ball on his line from Nigro's cross.
21' | Hall is booked for a collision with Derbyshire.
27' | CHANCE!! Oar strikes the ball forcing a dive from Birighitti!
37' | Milligan goes into the books after bringing Gianni down.
40' | Close call! Mariners get a chance at goal but Marco's effort just wide of the upright!
53' The boys are settling into the second half nicely. Nice long ball from Tommy Oar trying to find Derbyshire on the edge of the box, but Birighitti closes out the chance. 0-0
56' Mariners goal disallowed for offside. Still 0-0
68' CHANCE! Derbyshire with the header off Meredith but just a little too much on it. Best chance of the second half so far! 0-0
75' Controversial Red card shown to James Meredith for a challenge on Urena. Down to 10 men. Need to lift now! 0-0
82' Chance for the Mariners! Stensness with a bullet ball pushed just wide of Federici. 0-0
90’ It's onto extra time! Down to 10 men after James Meredith was shown a red card.
93' GOALLLLLL!!!! CHARLES M'MOMBWA!!!!!!!! Finishes off a rebound after Susaeta volley's off the post! 0-1
Half Time in Extra time! Charles M'Mombwa gives us the lead at the break. 0-1
114' WHAT A SAVE!!!!! Federici saves Urena's strike between his LEGS!!!! WHAT?!?!?!?!! 0-1 C'MON BOYS!!!!
118' RELIEF!!!!! Scramble in the box and Kye Rowles blazes his strike over Federici's bar. 0-1
120' GOOOOOALLLLL!!!!!! RUHS!!!! SECURES IT! 0-2