Bosnian recruit Sulejman Krpic quickly endeared himself to Western Sydney Wanderers fans after scoring the only goal in their narrow 1-0 A League Men home win over Perth Glory.
In keeping with a scrappy match, the goal at CommBank Stadium was hardly a thing of beauty, with Krpic heading home from close range after Perth goalkeeper Liam Reddy and his defence failed to deal with the close ball on Sunday afternoon.
Krpic wasted a glorious chance for a double when his late penalty was well saved by Reddy diving to his left, after Stefan Colakovski fouled fellow substitute Ramy Najjarine.
Perth had a couple of late chances when Aaron McEneff had a shot tuned around the post by Lawrence Thomas, who caught a Jack Clisby header from the following corner.
It was Perth’s first opening game loss since 2017, but the new-look Wanderers were the more consistently dangerous side.
With the Wanderers fielding nine starting debutants and Glory seven, the new-look sides unsurprisingly struggled for cohesion in Sunday’s match.
Both sides were guilty of poor execution in the front half with few penetrating or testing passes and crosses into the penalty areas.
Neither goalkeeper was really troubled in a dull first half.
The game perked up in the second half, with Wanderers in particular looking more lively in a match which produced seven bookings.
Krpic wasted a good chance when he shot wide from close range.
Brandon Borrello’s fierce long-range shot was pushed away by Reddy who then caught a Milos Ninkovic drive.
Perth head coach Ruben Zadkovich made three changes in the 64th minute, with substitute David Williams turning and firing a shot wide a few minutes later in a rare Glory effort on goal.