Roy O'Donovan scored a dramatic late equaliser to earn Brisbane Roar a 1-1 draw with Perth Glory on Sunday evening.
O'Donovan - one of nine Roar debutants on the occasion - stunned HBF Park in stoppage time to mark a promising start to life in Brisbane under Premier League legend Robbie Fowler.
Roar had earlier trailed from the 34th minute following Chris Ikonomidis' opener. Both sides struggled to find their fluency in the final third after the break, and after keeping their opponents at arms length, Perth looked destined to start their Premiership defence with a hard-fought win.
But O'Donovan stole the show with his diving header from Aaron Amadi-Holloway's smart knockdown, and after a VAR consultation, Brisbane celebrated a great come-from-behind point.
Glory boss Tony Popovic handed a Hyundai A-League debut to Swiss defender Gregory Wuthrich, who joined fellow Glory debutant Osama Malik and Alex Grant in a three man defence. Bruno Fornaroli also made his first league outing in a Perth shirt - the Uruguayan joined Chris Ikonomidis in a two-man frontline.
There were nine Roar debuts for Robbie Fowler's Brisbane, including a brand-new central defensive partnership of Tom Aldred and Macaulay Gillesphey. Meanwhile, experienced Irish striker Roy O'Donovan, formerly of Central Coast Mariners and Newcastle Jets, led the line.
Ikonomidis fires wide as Glory dominate opening stages
It didn't take long for Glory's strike pairing to test the visitors defence. Fornaroli cushioned a lovely clipped pass from Juande into the path of an on-rushing Ikonomidis with his chest, but the Caltex Socceroos' first-time effort was wayward.
Ikonomidis fires Glory in front
Ikonomidis did etch his name on the scoresheet after Fornaroli pounced on Scott Neville's poor clearance and fed Castro, who found the Glory forward inside the box. The Australian international duly obliged with the finish.
Reddy denies Mauk as Brisbane build
Fowler's men grew in confidence after the half time interval, and Glory 'keeper Liam Reddy was alert to smother a big chance from Stefan Mauk, with the Roar attacker left all alone in behind after Perth failed to clear their lines.
O'Donovan steals a point at the death
O'Donovan struck late to break Glory hearts, tucking away a neat header after Amadi-Holloway had nodded Jay O'Shea's raking ball back into his path.
Round 1: Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar man of the match
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