A first-half brace from Jeronimo Neumann helped consign Glory to an opening day defeat in what proved to be a dramatic and ill-tempered clash with Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium.

A first-half brace from Jeronimo Neumann helped consign Glory to an opening day defeat in what proved to be a dramatic and ill-tempered clash with Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium.

The Reds were reduced to nine men after referee Ben Williams dismissed both Isaias Sanchez and Nigel Boogaard in the second-half, with a further eleven yellow cards being produced during a contest that was niggly and compelling in equal measure.

Ryo Nagai’s headed effort got Glory on the scoresheet, but despite piling on plenty of late pressure, they were ultimately unable to reel in the hosts for whom Fabio Ferreira added a second-half goal to Neumann’s double.

Any notions of a cagey season-opener unfolding were quickly dispelled as both sides showed a refreshing sense of adventure right from the off, especially down the flanks where fellow-imports Sergio Cirio and Sidnei Sciola caught the eye on their respective A-League debuts.

And that attacking spirit bore early fruit with two goals arriving during a pulsating opening 12 minutes.

Neumann got the scoring underway when he found the net with an opportunist strike after a scuffed cross from Daniel Bowles landed at his feet, but the Reds were to enjoy their lead for only two minutes.

A quickly-taken Glory free-kick caught the hosts napping, Sciola stood up a fine cross to the back post and Nagai headed past Eugene Galekovic to make it three goals in his last five A-League appearances.

Buoyed by that immediate riposte, the visitors began to crank up the pressure, with the movement of Jamie Maclaren and Ryan Edwards causing plenty of headaches for United’s back four and Sciola’s low drive forcing Galekovic to make a smart stop at his near post.

Despite the men in white looking the more likely at that stage, however, it was the South Australians who struck on 25 minutes to restore their lead.

Neumann scored twice during Glory’s Week 17 visit to Coopers Stadium last season and the Argentinean repeated the trick when Danny Vukovic parried a headed effort from Ferreira into his path and he gleefully lashed home from close range.

The game then became a little fractious as half-time approached, with Jacob Burns and Josh Risdon both finding their way into Ben Williams’ notebook and Michael Zullo somehow managing to avoid following suit despite scything down Sciola as the Brazilian threatened to race away once again, this time down the right.

Adelaide United 2-1 Perth Glory

With the blustery conditions seeming to ease, the visitors began the second period brightly and Maclaren came agonisingly close to claiming his first competitive goal for the club twice in as many minutes.

The former Blackburn man firstly fired centimetres wide after Nagai capitalised on Boogaard’s error to tee up a shooting opportunity and he then got up well at the near post to meet a pinpoint free-kick from Steven McGarry, but his glancing header crashed against the bar.

The ebb and flow of an absorbing contest showed no sign of abating as United also found the woodwork just before the hour mark via a mis-hit cross from the lively Ferreira, but the Portuguese winger was not to be denied seven minutes later.

Michael Zullo provided the cross from the left and Ferreira nipped in at the far post to clip the ball past Vukovic and secure a two-goal buffer for the Reds.

There was little opportunity for Josep Gombau’s men to relax, however, as barely had their goal celebrations subsided than midfielder Sanchez received a second yellow for kicking the ball away, handing Glory a one-man advantage with almost a third of the game still to go.

Alistair Edwards’ response was to introduce Danny De Silva and Adrian Zahra from the bench in place of McGarry and Sciola respectively and both played a part in ensuring that Boogaard would become the second Adelaide player to see red.

Zahra’s clever pass sent his fellow-substitute racing towards goal before Boogaard felled him in full flight just a metre outside the box.

The resulting free-kick from Jamieson, however, cannoned into the wall and despite turning the screw in the final ten minutes and going close to reducing the arrears through Nagai, Glory were unable to carve open the massed ranks of the home defence.

Hyundai A-League 2013-2014 Season – Week 1
Adelaide United 3-1 Perth Glory (Half-time 2-1)
Coopers Stadium
Sunday 13th October 2013
Attendance: 10.320
Referee: Ben Williams

Adelaide United

1. Eugene Galekovic (GK), 16. Daniel Bowles, 3. Nigel Boogaard, 4. Jon McKain, 18. Michael Zullo, 13. Steven Lustica (5. Osama Malik 62′), 8. Isaias Sanchez, 10. Marcelo Carrusca, 22. Fabio Ferreira (21. Tarek Elrich 69′), 7. Jeronimo Neumann (24. Brent McGrath 76′), 9. Sergio Cirio

Substitutes not used: 17. Awer Mabil, 20. Paul Izzo (GK)

Scorers: Neumann 9′, 25′, Ferreira 64′

Yellow Cards: Ferreira 33′, Sanchez 40′, Boogaard 53′, McKain 72′, Bowles 74′, Neumann 75′

Red cards: Sanchez 65′, Boogaard 79′

Perth Glory

1. Danny Vukovic (GK), 19. Josh Risdon, 21. Scott Jamieson, Steve Pantelidis, Brandon O’Neill, 7. Jacob Burns (C), 14. Steven McGarry (20. Danny De Silva 71′), 8. Ryo Nagai, 16. Sidnei Sciola (11. Adrian Zahra 73′), 4. Ryan Edwards, 10. Jamie Maclaren

Substitutes not used: 30. Devon Spence (GK), 2. Jack Clisby, 6. Cameron Edwards

Scorers: Nagai 11′

Yellow Cards: Risdon 26′, Burns 28′, Ryan Edwards 70′, De Silva 90′

Gareth Morgan