A-League newcomers Western United have maintained their unbeaten start to their historic A-League season, playing out an entertaining 1-1 draw with Perth Glory at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday.
Western United opened the scoring through a delightful strike from marquee Panagiotis Kone, before Kristian Popovic -- son of Glory coach Tony -- salvaged a point for Perth with a late header.
The first half was an enterprising but ultimately scoreless affair, with the best chance coming when Perth's Joel Chianese found Bruno Fornaroli in the 33rd minute -- only for the striker to direct his header into the arms of Filip Kurto.
A sublime strike from Kone opened United's account in the 49th minute, sparking the contest to life. Scott McDonald took possession on the left and cut the ball back to Kone, who took a touch then unleashed a savage strike past Liam Reddy.
The goal gave United even more impetus, with Alessandro Diamanti's scintillating strike forcing a fingertip save from Reddy in the 58th minute. Two minutes later, Besart Berisha headed home a cross from Dario Jertec, only to be denied by the offside flag.
Perth challenged for an equaliser in the 67th minute when centre-back Gregory Wuthrich found the head of fellow defender Kim Soobeom, forcing a save from Kurto. Then a substitution paid off for the Glory, with Popovic equalising in the 76th minute, just eight minutes after entering the game.
Midfielder Neil Kilkenny sent a dipping ball over the United defence to Popovic, who directed a powerful header past Kurto for his first A-League goal.
In the 82nd minute, United had the chance to re-take the lead when Berisha found Kone, with the midfielder's powerful strike forcing a save from Reddy - only for Berisha's follow-up to be off-target. Three minutes later, United substitute Dylan Pierias beat the Glory defence with a dashing run forward -- set up by the superb Josh Risdon - only to hit the crossbar.
Then, in the 90th minute, Kone tried his luck from long-range once more but dragged his shot wide, leaving his side to settle for a draw.