Daniel Sturridge marks Perth Glory debut with five-minute cameo off the bench
Daniel Sturridge made a five-minute cameo off the bench to kick-off his Perth Glory career, with fans restricted to just a glimpse of the star import in action.
Sturridge came off the bench with just a handful of minutes to play in the 1-1 draw with Adelaide United, as coach Richard Garcia took a cautious approach with his new marquee man.
In a scrappy end to the game, Sturridge only managed a couple of touches, each one greeted with rapturous applause by the home crowd.
While he was unable to make any substantial impact in limited minutes, a near-capacity crowd of 17,198 at HBF Park were rewarded for an 85-minute long clamour to see Sturridge.
Sturridge’s signing has whipped Glory fans into a pre-season fever; the optimism heading into Tony Popovic’s first season as coach in 2018 pales into comparison to the excitement at the former England international’s arrival.
Liverpool red was dotted through the predominantly purple crowd and unsurprisingly, the biggest roar pre-game greeted the announcement of Sturridge among the substitutes.
A smattering of ‘We want Sturridge’ chants broke out in the crowd to begin the second half, but the striker stayed on the while the other substitutes left to warm up.
It seemed Perth fans had one eye on the action and one eye on Sturridge at all times; applause broke out every time he rose from the bench to go through some stretched.
However, they were made to wait as Garcia opted to introduce Daniel Stynes and Adrian Sardinero as attack-minded substitutes.
With just over five minutes to play, Glory fans finally got their wish as Sturridge replaced Bruno Fornaroli to thunderous cheers; you’d be forgiven if you were walking past the stadium at the time for thinking Perth had scored.
While Sturridge was unable to make any impact on the game in such limited time, it looks as if he may eventually line up outside Fornaroli in the 3-4-3 system Garcia employed.
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