<
>
2018/19 Australian A League, 2018 Australian A-League
  • Andy Keogh (26')
  • Roly Bonevacia (65')

Tony Popovic denied Perth Glory win as Western Sydney Wanderers save draw

New Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic was denied a first win after his former side Western Sydney came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw at nib Stadium.

Striker Andy Keogh put Glory ahead in the 26th minute but Roly Bonevacia's 65th-minute strike ensured the spoils were shared in front of 10,206 fans on Sunday. Star Western Sydney striker Oriol Riera could have scored the winner in the 74th minute but his close-range sitter sailed over the bar.

Although Popovic couldn't secure a first-up win with Glory, he was happy with the display.

"The performance was a good one. I'm sure it will get better as we go," he said. "There were a lot of good signs in terms of what we've been trying to do in pre-season. It was just unfortunate we couldn't get the three points.

"It was disappointing we weren't clinical enough in front of goal when we created some good opportunities. That's promising to get those chances. Now the next step is to take them."

Popovic won the 2014 Asian Champions League title with the Wanderers and took them to three A-League grand finals during his five years in charge. But the coach wasn't feeling any soft spots for his former side during the game on Sunday.

"Afterwards of course you see familiar faces and you're happy to see them and you wish them well," Popovic said. "But during the game, no real thoughts about them."

The Glory dominated the first half and should have had more than one goal. The Wanderers became a far more attacking outfit in the second half and were able to produce a number of chances.

Glory goalkeeper Liam Reddy pulled off two sharp saves in as many minutes to deny Jaushua Sotirio. The Wanderers received a slice of luck in the 59th minute when Glory defender Alex Grant's header slammed into the crossbar. And scores were level in the 65th minute when Bonevacia beat the offside trap and held Tomislav Mrcela at arm's length to slot home the equaliser.

"I saw two faces today from my team," new Wanderers coach Markus Babbel said. "The first half we were very poor. Maybe we were too nervous -- first game of the season against a team that everyone was saying can win the league.

"Maybe we had too much respect for them. We were very awful in the first half. The second half was much better. It was what I wanted to see."