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Fowler scores in losing A-League debut

  • Story Highlights
  • Robbie Fowler scores in losing debut for Australian A-League side Queensland
  • Former Liverpool and England striker nets penalty in 3-2 defeat by Sydney
  • The 34-year-old is the highest-profile signing in the expanded league's history
  • Fury's fellow league newcomers Gold Coast United make winning start
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(CNN) -- Former England and Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler suffered defeat in his first match for Australian A-League side Queensland Fury despite scoring on his debut on Saturday night.

Robbie Fowler moved to Australia after failing to find a top-level contract in England.

Robbie Fowler moved to Australia after failing to find a top-level contract in England.

The 34-year-old, the fourth highest scorer in the English Premier League with 161 goals, is the expanded league's highest-profile player in its five-year history.

While his career has waned since he left Liverpool for the first time in 2001, he was at his peak one of the deadliest strikers in Europe despite not being able to repeat that form on the international stage.

He has been named captain by league newcomers Queensland, but his first outing ended in a 3-2 defeat at home to Sydney.

The visitors took a 2-0 lead in Townsville as former Australia striker John Aloisi and 18-year-old Kofi Danning netted, but Rostyn Griffiths pulled one back just before halftime with a header.

Fowler, who had tested goalkeeper Clint Bolton with a fierce free-kick in the first half, leveled the score in the 60th minute with a cool penalty after Jason Spagnuolo was fouled by Shannon Cole.

However, Aloisi -- whose European career included stints in Belgium with Antwerp, England with Portsmouth and Coventry, Spain with Osasuna and Alaves -- scored the winner from the spot in the 72nd minute after Fury keeper Paul Henderson brought down Alex Brosque.

Queensland's fellow newcomers Gold Coast United enjoyed a more successful debut, beating Brisbane Roar 3-1 with goals from new recruits Shane Smeltz and Jason Culina, and Brazilian midfielder Robson.

New Zealand striker Smeltz, the league's top scorer last season with Wellington Phoenix, netted the opener in the 17th minute.

He then started the counter-attack that led to the second goal from Australia midfielder Culina, who has returned home following stints with Dutch clubs Ajax, Twente and PSV Eindhoven.

Dutchman Sergio Van Dijk reduced the deficit but Robson took advantage of slack defending in the final minute to seal victory.

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