Robbie Fowler scored on his A-League debut but was unable to prevent North Queensland Fury slipping to a 3-2 defeat by Sydney FC in Townsville on Saturday.
The former Liverpool striker, who has been named as Fury's captain for this season, helped his side battle back from two goals down when he levelled from the penalty spot early in the second half.
However, John Aloisi converted a penalty in the 72nd minute to ensure the three points went the way of Sydney FC.
The visitors took the lead in the sixth minute when Aloisi latched onto a pass from Kofi Danning before firing home.
Sydney added a second on the half-hour mark when Danning's low strike flew beyond the grasp of goalkeeper Paul Henderson.
But Fury began their fightback when Royston Griffiths headed home from a corner in the 40th minute.
Fowler then levelled after Jason Spagnuolo had been brought down inside the box on the hour mark but Aloisi's penalty 18 minutes from time snatched victory for Sydney.
"To get back to 2-2 was a massive bonus for us but we gave another silly goal through a penalty," Fury coach Ian Ferguson said on the club's official website.
Elsewhere, Gold Coast United enjoyed the perfect start to life in the A-League with a 3-1 win over Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.
Shane Smeltz opened the scoring in the 17th minute after racing on to Joel Porter's pass before Jason Culina made it 2-0 just before the hour mark.
Roar halved the deficit in the 90th minute when Sergio van Dijk scored from the penalty spot but Brazilian Robson restored his side's two-goal advantage soon after.