STEVE Urgakovic has returned for the Newcastle Jets in stunning fashion, scoring a screamer in their 2-all draw with Macarthur Bulls at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday night.
Ugarkovic, who has played in 133 A-League games for Newcastle, has signed to play with Western Sydney next season and speculation surfaced recently that a mid-season release might be negotiated. The 26-year-old midfielder has missed Newcastle's past three games, and was overlooked for last week's fixture in Coffs Harbour, but was reinstated to the squad after training strongly on Friday to prove he had overcome a niggling back injury.
He started Sunday's game on the bench but was promoted at the expense of Ramy Najjarine at half-time, with Newcastle trailing 2-1.
Twelve minutes into the second half, he was teed up with a pass from Luka Prso and unleashed a long-range strike that hooked perfectly into the top left-hand corner of Macarthur's goal.
It was the eight's goal of Ugarkovic's A-League career and his first in 18 months.
The result lifted Newcastle two points clear of last-placed Melbourne Victory, who sacked coach Grant Brebner on the weekend after a 7-0 thrashing from arch-rivals Newcastle City.
The Jets drew first blood in the 25th minute through a Roy O'Donovan penalty, after Valentino Yuel was fouled by Macarthur captain Mark Milligan.
Milligan protested to referee Lachlan Keevers, making his A-League debut, but the VAR backed the decision.
O'Donovan calmly blasted the penalty into the right-hand netting, beating the desperate dive of Bulls keeper Adam Federici.
Newcastle's advantage was short-lived.
Ten minutes later, English import Matt Derbyshire dispossessed Jets defender Lachlan Jackson and Charles M'Mombwa finished off neatly for his first A-League goal.
Then in the dying seconds of injury time, the Bulls broke out from deep in their own half and the ball found its way to Derbyshire, who set up French midfielder Luic Puyo.
It was Puyo's second goal against Newcastle this season, having also scored the winner at McDonald Jones Stadium in round four.
AAP reports: Sleepy Sydney FC let a two-goal advantage slip as Adelaide United narrowly missed out on a rare away win in their 2-2 A-League draw at Leichhardt Oval.
There was drama at the death when Sydney defender Rhyan Grant was red-carded in the 93rd minute.
But the defending champions handled the pressure to eke out a draw.