Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau was 'very happy' with his side's season-opening 3-1 win over Perth Glory at Coopers Stadium on Sunday, but acknowledged not everything went according to plan.
The Reds opened up a two-goal buffer when Portuguese winger Fabio Ferreira found the back of the net in the 64th minute and they avoided a total derailment when they were reduced to nine men in the closing stages.
United racked up an A-League record eight yellow cards, including two reds, to new recruit Isaias and experienced defender Nigel Boogaard, which left them severely undermanned and providing Glory with ample dead-ball opportunities.
But the home side never looked like succumbing.
"I am very happy," said Gombau, triumphant in his A-League coaching debut.
"My objective is not [solely] to win or lose, it's more to create something.
"Not for the way that we played, because I don't think we played a very good game in terms of the style we want to play … [but] this is normal for the first game.
"But I am happy.
"I am satisfied with the attitude they showed - they brought 120 percent."
The Reds' only blemish came when former Japan Under-19 captain Ryo Nagai snuck past the home side's guard in the 11th minute with a quick retort to Jeronimo Neumann's opening goal.
Clean sheets have been rare for Adelaide in recent times, but Gombau is adamant it was a pure football error rather than sloppiness that allowed Nagai to strike.
"It's more one mistake," Gombau said.
"It happened one moment in the game but it's not like they scored because we disconnected.
"I don't have this feeling."
Otherwise, the contest was played thoroughly on Adelaide's terms, their pin-point ground-level passing an aesthetic treat, even if Gombau believes it still requires significant fine tuning.
Spearhead by Jeronimo's first-half brace, both aided by Ferreira, who played a blinder as finisher and playmaker, broke Glory's back early.
The visitors were a sneaky chance with a two-man advantage in the closing moments, but the Reds showed terrific poise to safely survive the last-ditch onslaught.
"We played the last 10-15 minutes with nine players and this is difficult," Gombau said.
"They fight, fight, fight, run, run, run.
"For me, this is the best because the other things you can improve in training.
"But the attitude is something you either have or don't have - and they have it."