It was a historic day in Geelong as the A-League new boys Western United played their first home match in the competition, drawing 1-1 against reigning premiers Perth Glory.
The first half saw few clear-cut chances with both sides sharing spells of possession.
Bruno Fornaroli found himself with space inside the penalty area early on but couldn’t create enough power on his header, allowing Filip Kurto to save comfortably.
Western United started the second half superbly, breaking the deadlock four minutes in thanks to a delightful strike from marquee man Panagiotis Kone.
Alessandro Diamanti almost doubled the home side’s lead with a strike from outside the penalty area, only for Glory keeper Liam Reddy to pull off an impressive save.
The Glory found eventually found their equaliser 15 minutes from time through a Kristian Popovic header. The 18-year-old had been on the pitch for just over seven minutes.
Both sides pushed for a winner late on, but it ended all square at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong.
STORY OF THE GAME
3’ CHANCE – Neil Kilkenny plays the ball across goal, but Bruno Fornaroli can’t get a foot to it.
6’ HALF-CHANCE – Besart Berisha finds himself with back to goal but is unable to turn and shoot.
11’ CHANCE – Connor Pain opens up on his right foot after creating space in the penalty area, but his shot goes wide.
16’ HALF-CHANCE – Diego Castro’s blistering run for the Glory amounts to little as United clear their lines.
32’ CHANCE – Bruno Fornaroli’s open header lands straight in the hands of Filip Kurto.
37’ YELLOW CARD – Alex Grant is the first player to go into the book.
39’ YELLOW CARD – Dario Jertec receives a caution.
HALF-TIME - Western United 0-0 Perth Glory
48’ CHANCE – Panagiotis Kone’s well-hit strike goes just wide
49’ GOAL – Panagiotis Kone with a superb strike from outside the penalty area into the top corner. Western United 1-0 Perth Glory
58’ CHANCE – Alessandro Diamanti’s strike from distance is well saved by Liam Reddy.
67’ CHANCE – Soobeom Kim with a powerful header but Filip Kurto saves well.
68’ SUB – Perth make a double change with Krisitan Popovic and Jacob Tratt replacing Juande and Joel Chianese.
76’ GOAL – Perth have the equaliser through a Kristian Popovic header.
77’ SUB – Chris Harold replaces Chris Ikonomidis for the Glory.
78’ CHANCE – Dario Jertec tries to fire his side back into the lead with a long-range strike but Reddy saves.
82’ CHANCE – Kone strikes, the ball rebounds to Berisha whose shot goes over the bar.
85’ CHANCE – Pierias finds himself in a one on one, chips over Reddy and hits the crossbar.
FULL TIME – Western United 1-1 Perth Glory
Western United FC squad: 1.Filip KURTO (gk), 4.Andrew DURANTE, 6.Connor CHAPMAN, 8.Panagiotis KONE, 10.Scott McDONALD (14.Max BURGESS 79’), 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Dario JERTEC, 18.Besart BERISHA (5.Dylan PIERIAS 83’), 19.Joshua RISDON, 22.Ersan GULUM, 23.Alessandro DIAMANTI (c)
Substitutes Not Used: 2.Aaron CALVER, 15.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 20.James DELIANOV (gk), 26.Kwabena APPIAH-KUBI, 27. Jerry SKOTADIS,
Yellow cards: 2.Alex GRANT 37’
Red cards: None
Perth Glory squad: 2.Alex GRANT, 4.Gregory WUTHRICH, , 7.Joel CHIANESE (3.Jacob TRATT 68’), 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 12.Kim SOO-BEOM 13.Osama MALIK, 17.Diego CASTRO (c), 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS (14.Chris HAROLD 77’), 27.JUANDE (29.Kristian POPOVIC 68’), 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY
Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 6.Dino DJULBIC, 8.Gabriel POPOVIC,
Yellow cards: 12.Dario JERTEC 39’
Red cards: None