Sydney FC were kept scoreless for the second week in a row as Lachlan Rose helped seal a 1-0 win for Macarthur FC, their first of this A-League Men season on Saturday night.
Sky Blues coach Steve Corcia said he wanted to see a better end product after a goalless draw to open their campaign against Western Sydney last week, but this wasn't much of an improvement.
Macarthur were willing to let the home side prod, probe and dominate possession, with Rose's smash-and-grab effort in the 17th minute the difference at Kogarah Oval.
After the Sky Blues had dominated the opening stages Bulls captain Ulises Davila broke down the right flank and, after resisting the temptation to go down under intense pressure from Paulo Retre, crossed into the middle of the Sydney box.
A beautiful linking pass from Daniel De Silva then found Rose with the 22-year-old able to nestle the ball past Andrew Redmayne and into the back of the net.
Rose, who bagged two in the FFA Cup and the equaliser in the round one draw with Wellington, continued to cause problems for the Sky Blues' defence but his best chance -- a 36th minute header -- was directed straight into Redmayne's hands.
The small section of Bulls fans made plenty of noise when Rose's goal went in and they let out a different sort of cheer soon after when Craig Noone went down under some Milos Ninkovic pressure as he made a foray into the Sydney box.
No penalty was forthcoming despite a VAR check and the Sky Blues could have counted themselves lucky to just be one goal down.
Sydney went in search of an equaliser with Trent Buhagiar forcing Filip Kurto to play at an awkward cross just before half time.
The deflection fell kindly for the hosts but Ninkovic overran the ball and missed a chance to level.
Sydney huffed and puffed but couldn't knock Macarthur over as the Bulls absorbed pressure and defended compactly for much of the second half.
The Sky Blues' wayward efforts in the final third were perhaps best summed up when Adam Le Fondre needlessly lunged in on Noone and was shown a yellow card.
Sydney's English striker had been unable to break Kurto's resolve from the edge of the box before he glanced a header the wrong side of the post.
It was a similar story for second-half substitute Patrick Wood who worked Kurto from close range after some impressive runs into the penalty area.
Elvis Kamsoba was industrious on the Sydney right, but the Bulls were able to hold firm and give coach Ante Milicic his first win of the season.