Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson was impressed with his side’s fight and grit in their 3-2 loss to Adelaide United on Friday.
The Glory pressed high up the park and pressured Adelaide early before falling behind 2-0 to a quick-fire brace from Reds forward Jeronimo Neumann.
Iain Ramsay smashed in a third for the home side immediately after the break as the hosts took control of the encounter.
But Perth hung tough and pulled a goal back when striker Shane Smeltz converted a penalty in the 89th minute before veteran midfielder Steven McGarry gave the Glory a flicker of hope to snatch a point when he drilled home a second in additional time.
It was not to be for the visitors as United held on for victory, but Ferguson remained upbeat following his side’s gutsy display.
“The positives that came out of it were that we never stopped playing and still created chances and got two goals,” Ferguson said.
“Even when we went 3-0 down, we still tried to play and created some chances which was really good.
“I’m pleased with the manner in the way we came back and showed good character.
“If there’s ever a game to show you not to give up at 3-0 down that was probably one of those games.
“Working so hard and getting nothing in a game like that was very disappointing.”
Although Ferguson was pleased with the Glory’s response in the second half, the 45-year-old was left to rue a number of sloppy defensive mistakes early in proceedings.
“The goals we conceded were very disappointing,” Ferguson said.
“We can’t clear the lines (for the first goal) and the second one there’s a big hole in the defence where a straight ball is played through the middle of us … the killer goal was probably their third.
“They only went into our penalty box four times in the first half and scored twice.
“Unfortunately that’s football and the mistakes we made shot us in the foot tonight.”
The loss puts Perth at risk of sliding down the table and out of finals contention with Melbourne Heart, Brisbane Roar and Newcastle Jets all capable of leapfrogging the Glory into fifth if they win.