Ikonomidis on target as Glory open with draw

Glory began the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season with a 1-1 draw against Brisbane after Chris Ikonomidis saw his first-half strike cancelled out by Roy O'Donovan's stoppage-time effort at HBF Park.

Full match highlights

With three new recruits in the starting eleven in the form of Gregory Wuthrich, Bruno Fornaroli and Osama Malik, the home side dominated much of the first half and were good value for their lead which arrived in the 34th minute when Ikonomidis swept home Diego Castro's inch-perfect pass.

And despite Brisbane enjoying more possession after the break, Glory looked set to claim all three points, only for O'Donovan to open his account for the visitors right at the death with a goal which was initially ruled out for offside but subsequently allowed to stand after a lengthy referral to the VAR.

Glory Head Coach Tony Popovic was quick to admit that the last-gasp leveller had been a bitter pill to swallow.

Popa's post-match presser

"It's always tough [conceding so late in the game]," he said.

"On reflection, we'll look back on what was a very good first half and [in the] second half, we expected to drop off due to our physical condition, the new players and lack of match fitness; that's just normal.

"But although we were under pressure because we couldn't keep the ball, we didn't really concede any chances.

"Unfortunately they had the one opportunity and they took it, so well done to them.

"We take the point and move on. We know we'll get better."

Glory came absolutely flying out of the blocks at the start of the game, creating two decent chances within the opening four minutes.

The first fell the way of Wuthrich who glanced his header from a Neil Kilkenny corner just over the bar and the second saw  Fornaroli chest Juande's chipped pass into the path of Ikonomidis who dragged his low shot narrowly off-target. 

Roar's first opportunity, meanwhile, was inadvertently created by Glory's Brandon Wilson whose attempted headed clearance of a Jake McGing cross forced Liam Reddy into a reflex parry.

O'Donovan also threatened with a header soon afterwards, but for much of the first half-hour, the Queenslanders were content to get men behind the ball and challenge Glory to break them down.

To their credit, the home side continued to probe away patiently and that approach eventually paid dividends.

Fornaroli again showed great strength to hold the ball up and lay it off, allowing Castro to pick out Ikonomidis who rifled a first-time effort into the bottom corner of the net.

Stung by that opener, Roar began the second half on the front foot, with Reddy forced to deny Stefan Mauk in a one-on-one situation and Jay O'Shea's set-piece delivery into the box asking questions of the Glory backline.

The home side's response was a dangerous cross from the ubiquitous Castro which Fornaroli just failed to get a meaningful contact on.

The final quarter saw Roar enjoying plenty of possession without looking overly threatening and Popovic's side appeared poised to claim the win until O'Donovan's dramatic late intervention.

O'Shea's chipped ball into the box was headed across the face of goal by substitute Aaron Amadi-Holloway and the Irishman stooped to head home his seventh career goal against Glory from close range.

Match Details

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Perth Glory 1 (Ikonomidis 34') Brisbane Roar 1 (O'Donovan 90+4')

Half-time: 1-0

HBF Park, Perth

Attendance: 9,829

Referee: Shaun Evans

Assistant Referee 1: Josh Mannella

Assistant Referee 2: Arvin Shanmuganathan

Fourth Official: Adam Fielding

VAR: Chris Beath

Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 4.Gregory WUTHRICH (6.Dino DJULBIC 81'), 7.Joel CHIANESE, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 13.Osama MALIK, 15.Brandon WILSON (12.Kim SOO-BEOM 63'), 17.Diego CASTRO (c), 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS (29.Kristian POPOVIC 86'), 27.JUANDE, 88.Neil KILKENNY

Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3.Jacob TRATT, 28.Gabriel POPOVIC

Yellow Cards: Wilson, Kilkenny, Fornaroli, Juande

Red cards: None

Brisbane Roar: 1.Max CROCOMBE (gk), 2.Scott NEVILLE, 5.Tom ALDRED (c), 6.Macaulay GILLESPHEY, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Bradden INMAN (7.Jai INGHAM 76'), 12.Aiden O’NEILL, 13.Stefan MAUK,  22.Jake MCGING (20.Aaron AMADI-HOLLOWAY  83'), 24.Connor O’TOOLE, 26.Jay O’SHEA

Substitutes not used: 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 4.Daniel BOWLES, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 15.Aaron REARDON

Yellow Cards: Neville

Red cards: None

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