Life under coach Ante Juric got off to a poor start for Sydney FC, who suffered a humbling opening round defeat to Brisbane Roar at Allianz Stadium.
The Sky Blues' quest to win a first W-League title in five seasons got off to a difficult start after suffering a 3-1 loss to the Roar, who staked their credentials as one of the early season favourites.
It took the Roar 17 seconds to show why they're highly fancied for a third championship when Katrina Gorry fired Brisbane into the lead. The Matilda latched on to a Abbey Lloyd cross to hit a shot into the corner of the net, punishing a sloppy Sydney FC turnover.
Sydney FC midfielder Amy Harrison led the hosts' quest for an equaliser but the Sky Blues were dealt an unfortunate blow when Allira Toby scored a controversial second for Brisbane in the 37th minute. The Roar forward appeared to have handled the ball in her attempted header past Sydney goalkeeper Shamiran Khamis but it went unnoticed by referee Katie Patterson.
The Sky Blues appeared sharper after as Julia Vignes roamed into more dangerous areas while Harrison continued to look dangerous from set pieces. She would have clawed one back from a free kick had it not been for a fine reflex save from Mackenzie Arnold.
The Sky Blues were thrown a lifeline when Summer O'Brien was fouled for a high foot on Leena Khamis in the box and substitute Emily Sonnett made no mistake from the spot to make it 2-1.
That glimmer of hope proved fleeting and the Roar sealed their win in the dying minutes. There was nothing controversial about Toby's second as a looping header sealed the 3-1 win.