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Perth and Victory fight out draw

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Darvydas Sernas had an impressive debut for Perth Glory on Friday night as he scored the goal that helped seal a 1-1 draw against Melbourne Victory at nib Stadium.

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Despite criticism about his tactical set-up Kevin Muscat persisted with the formation that suffered two 5-0 losses in two weeks, although Tom Rogic was given a start.

Rogic’s first start in his loan spell showed why he is so highly regarded and he nearly found an opener in the 34th minute as his shot from distance came off the bar.

It was a much better performance from Victory in the first half of this encounter as Perth looked somewhat slower, Victory’s high pressing working out well.

In the 37th minute Victory were handed a golden opportunity as Archie Thompson’s shirt was tugged in the box, resulting in a penalty that Gui FInkler duly dispatched.

That was enough for Victory to hold a 1-0 lead at the break, a big recovery from the big losses in the last two weeks, while Perth were struggling.

At the break Perth introduced their new Lithuanian signing, Sernas, who didn’t make a great first impact, having to leave the field after putting on the wrong socks.

Sernas’ introduction completely changed the match as Perth went on to dominate proceedings in the second half, acting like a completely different side.

After changing his socks he returned and five minutes in to the half made his presence felt as he hit a powerful strike from distance that left Nathan Coe with no chance.

Four minutes later Perth were inches away from taking the lead as Steven McGarry got on the end of Chris Harold’s cross but sent his header wide.

In the 74th minute Victory should have had a winner as Andrew Nabbout was played clean through but, with just the keeper to beat, sent his shot horribly wide.

That was the last real chance of the match, with some late drama for Perth fans as William Gallas left the field with an injury late on, but it mattered little as the match remained 1-1.

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