The season opener saw Adelaide take on Sydney in what was a thriller ending with a win for the Sky Blues.
Two early goals for Le Fondre put Sydney ahead before Adelaide pulled back through Nikola Mileusnic and Al Hassan Toure. Adelaide saw red with Ryan Strain sent off for bringing down Le Fondre before Ryan McGowan headed home the winner in the dying minutes.
The Melbourne derby was a more sedate affair ending 0-0 after Elvis Kamsoba’s goal was rightfully called offside in a VAR review. There wasn’t much for fans to watch with only five shots on target between the sides, both new managers seeming to settle for a draw.
The Wanderers started off the new season with a comeback win over Central Coast. An early injury to Tarek Elrich saw 18-year-old Daniel Wilmering make his debut for the club, after being a ball boy back at Western Sydney’s inaugural match. Milan Duric put the Mariners ahead with a strike from the edge of the box before captain Mitch Duke leveled the game. The former Mariner then sunk a penalty in the 82nd minute to win the match.
Wellington Phoenix struggled against the defence of newcomers Western United in Ufuk Talay’s first game, giving debuts to seven players. But it was A-League veteran Besart Berisha who tapped in his 117th goal in the league to give the green and black their first win. Several attempts from the hosts were saved or off target leaving the Nix with some things to consider going forward.
The combination of Ikonomidis, Fornaroli and Castro left Brisbane scrambling in their first game under Robbie Fowler. The three linked up perfectly to give Ikonomidis his first of the season and Perth the lead. The frustration led Fowler to kick an advertising board ahead of his half-time talk. Brisbane improved in the second half to threaten the reigning champions. In the death of stoppage time new signing Jay O’Shea chipped the ball to Holloway who headed it on to O’Donovan who in turn headed it into the net, the goal was initially called offside by the lineman before VAR overturned it and gave the Roar a point.
Round 2 will give Newcastle their first game of the campaign against the Mariners and see Brisbane have a week off while Western United will face last season’s champions Perth in their first home game.