23/04/2024

Macarthur celebrate a goal against Phnom Penh Crown in its 5-0 victory at Campbelltown Stadium. Photo Credit: AFC Cup/Twitter

Ahead of the return fixture against Phnom Penh Crown, Macarthur coach Mile Sterjovski talked about the importance of a strong performance at home in the pre-match press conference.

“I think if we focus on the process and how we play I’m sure we’ll get the result we deserve,” Sterjovski said.

Those words would prove prophetic for the A-League Men side, who walked away from Campbelltown with a 5-0 victory on Thursday night.

Speaking after the game, Sterjovski said he was pleased with the performance and the turnaround from the last match.

He also noted that they felt they got the result they deserved.

“We stuck to the game plan. The boys performed really well and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

“[I’m] very pleased and they deserved the win.”

The goal-scoring started early, with Ulises Davila on the receiving end of a foul by Orn Chanpolin inside the box, with Valere Germain dispatching the penalty with ease.

Raphael Borges Rodrigues would double the lead five minutes later off a cross from Jed Drew.

Germain would return the favour to Davila, as he crossed the ball in to the Bulls captain who headed it past Um Vichet to make it three before half-time.

With Macarthur in the driver’s seat, they continued to dominate the second half, but were unable to find the back of the net, with Vichet providing some strong saves for the visitors.

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Macarthur would finally get a fourth goal in the 81st minute, as Tomislav Uskok headed home a corner kick from Ali Auglah, to seal the three points and top spot in the group heading into Match Day 5.

Lachie Rose would find the scoresheet in the 90th minute to make it 5-0, leaving Macarthur’s fate in its own hands for advancement to the knockout stages. 

Macarthur now turns its attention back to the A-League Men, where a trip to Melbourne awaits to face City, with new coach Aurelio Vidmar at the helm and the “new manager bounce”.

“There’s always, you know… you think about that a little bit [the new manager bounce],” Sterjovski said.

“But to be honest, the focus remains on our team, trying to get the boys back to 100 per cent and focused on the next match.”

The game against Melbourne City caps off a six-game in three weeks stretch for Macarthur, with the international break being both a blessing and a curse for Macarthur.

“In one way, I think everyone is looking for a little bit of a break,” Sterjovski said.

“In another way, we want to keep the momentum going.

“I think we’re all hungry to succeed at this club. The players, staff, everybody involved.

“We’ve had a good start and we want to keep that going. There won’t be too much of a break.”

With Kearyn Baccus and Ali Auglah both having scored their first league goals in the games against the Central Coast Mariners and Western United respectively, there is a potential for a third in three weeks on Sunday.

“To be honest, I’m not too sure,” Sterjovski said when asked if he had a hot tip for who would do it on Sunday.

“I’ll be happy if anyone scores.”

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