Melbourne Victory was edged 2-1 by Macarthur in an entertaining A-League encounter at AAMI Park on Thursday.
Victory went ahead through Elvis Kamsoba before Markel Susaeta equalised in the first half.
But Victory would be left to rue missed chances before James Meredith scored what proved to be a 69th-minute winner.
Victory eased into the encounter and Kamsoba threatened in the 15th minute, his 20-yard effort following a nice run palmed away by Macarthur goalkeeper Adam Federici.
The opener arrived via Kamsoba midway through the first half.
Jacob Butterfield’s pass was flicked on by Rudy Gestede and Kamsoba took control before producing an excellent finish into the corner to make it 1-0.
Macarthur equalised through Susaeta just after the half-hour mark, his deflected effort beating Victory goalkeeper Matt Acton.
Victory created a great chance seven minutes before half-time.
Leigh Broxham’s pass found Robbie Kruse in behind, but the latter was unable to get enough on his effort.
It was also Broxham who created a good opportunity two minutes later, his cross headed over by Gestede.
Victory continued to push prior to the break and Gestede put a strike over the crossbar following a good run and cross down the right by Lleyton Brooks.
The opportunities kept coming for Victory and Kamsoba was denied in a one-on-one by Federici following a great pass from Kruse.
Victory came close again on the stroke of half-time as Jake Brimmer’s long-range free-kick crashed off the crossbar, with the teams going into the break level.
Macarthur thought it had taken the lead eight minutes into the second half when Jake McGing scrambled in, but it was ruled out for a handball by Meredith.
But another corner would lead to a goal for Macarthur, with Meredith heading in a set-piece to make it 2-1.
Gestede almost found an equaliser for Victory in the 82nd minute, but the striker was denied by Federici.
Player in focus
What they said – Gestede
on the game…
“We didn’t score the chances we had, simple. First half we should be like 2-0 or 3-0 up and then you pay cash in the second half so it’s on the strikers tonight.”
on using his strength…
“I used to use it and here they decide to blow the whistle all the time. I tried to speak to the ref, but it’s a new league, I need to adapt.”
Hyundai A-League 2020/21
Melbourne Victory 1 (Elvis Kamsoba 23′)
Macarthur 2 (Markel Susaeta 31′, James Meredith 69′)
Melbourne Victory: Acton (gk); Broxham (c), Ansell, Ryan, Lauton (Barnett 66′); Butterfield, Brimmer; Brooks (Lawrie-Lattanzio 65′), Kruse, Kamsoba; Gestede.
Macarthur: Federici (gk); McGing (Ruhs 65′), Milligan (c), Susnjar; Lachlan Rose (Liam Rose 45′), Etxebarria, Martis, Meredith; Susaeta (Hollman 65′), M’Mombwa (Najjar 64′); Derbyshire.
Yellow cards: Milligan 80′, Kruse 85′, Derbyshire 90+3′
Red cards: Nil
Venue: AAMI Park
Victory has a short turnaround with a trip to Perth to face the Glory on Sunday.