Melbourne City’s procession towards the A-League Men premiership hit a road bump as Macarthur snatched a point in a backs-to-the-wall 1-1 draw against the competition leaders.

The Bulls were happy to frustrate City at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday and dared to believe they could seal an unlikely upset when Jason Romero’s first-half strike put them ahead.

But a second-half own goal from Jonathan Aspropotamitis gave City a share of the spoils in a game in which Rado Vidosic’s side had 78 per cent of possession.

City remain top of the table but Adelaide are now just four points behind them with five rounds of the competition remaining.

Macarthur, meanwhile, sit in ninth and are one of three clubs in contention to snatch a finals berth.

Marco Tilio of Melbourne City and Ivan Vujica of the Bulls compete for the ball during the A-League Men’s soccer match between Macarthur FC and Melbourne City at Campbelltown Stadium in Sydney, Sunday, March 19, 2023. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

After being hammered 6-1 in their last meeting, the Bulls were happy to sit deep and ride their luck against City’s red-hot attack.

Tomi Uskok cleared a Jamie Maclaren effort off the line, Scott Jamieson hit the bar and Andrew Nabbout had a goal chalked off for offside in a chaotic opening half an hour.

Macarthur goalkeeper Filip Kurto impressively snuffed out wave after wave of balls into his box.

When the Bulls did have the ball they looked to counter quickly, and it was through an incisive Al Hassan Toure break that they went ahead.

Toure charged upfield and squared to Romero, who finished past Tom Glover in the 26th minute for his first A-League Men goal.

Macarthur held firm for the remainder of the first half and nearly doubled their lead when Aspropotamitis glanced a Danny De Silva free-kick wide of Glover’s post.

Aspropotamitis survived a scare when referee Chris Beath awarded a penalty to City for his clumsy challenge on Maclaren.

Thankfully for Macarthur, Maclaren was offside in the build-up but there was no such fortune when Aspropotamitis turned a Jordan Bos cross into his own net in the 65th minute.

The frustrations of both sides were beginning to boil over after a reckless Nuno Reis challenge on Kearyn Baccus sparked an all-in melee with 10 minutes left.

City made one last charge forward and when Ivan Vujica brought down Aiden O’Neill, they thought they had a penalty to win it.

Beath, however, opted to consult VAR and could see O’Neill had gone down of his own volition and overturned his own decision.

Source: AAP