Perth (Australia) (AFP) - Irishman Roy O'Donovan scored an equaliser in the dying seconds to hand Liverpool great Robbie Fowler a point in his opening game as coach for Brisbane Roar in Australia's A-League Sunday.
While the former England striker was briefly player-coach of Thai club Muangthong United, and worked extensively at Liverpool's academy, he had no other senior coaching experience when appointed in the off-season.
But he steered his team to the pre-season Surf City Cup and they earned a 1-1 draw away to Perth Glory courtesy of Donovan's header in the 94th minute, cancelling out a first-half strike from Chris Ikonomidis.
"I think a point was the least we deserved the way we controlled the ball in the second half," said Donovan after their opening game of the season.
"The gaffer (Fowler) has brought in a great mentality, a really professional set-up. Everyone is playing for each other. The future is bright."
Roar struggled last season, finishing above only Central Coast Mariners in the 10-team league, leading to ex-Socceroos striker John Aloisi quitting as coach.
This year's competition has been expanded to include an 11th team -- Western United, who began their campaign in style by beating Wellington Phoenix 1-0 in New Zealand.
The A-League's all-time record goalscorer Besart Berisha poked home from close range in the first-half to secure all three points for the Melbourne-based team in a highly-charged and free-flowing encounter.
It was a bitter pill for the Phoenix after their coach last year, Mark Rudan, defected to become United's inaugural manager, taking three players with him.
In other weekend games, defending champions Sydney FC scored a late goal to topple Adelaide United 3-2, after letting a two goal lead slip.
Melbourne City and cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory ground out a 0-0 draw while Western Sydney Wanderers came from behind to beat the Mariners 2-1.