The signing of former Liverpool and England striker Sturridge has piqued interest in Australian football, with the 32-year-old back in the professional game after departing Trabzonspor in March 2020.
However, fans were only treated to a short glimpse of Sturridge at HFB Park, where the hosts were forced to come from behind to clinch a point.
Kusini Yengi coolly side-footed home the opener for Adelaide, only for Fornaroli to level five minutes before half-time with a ferocious 30-yard effort.
Antonee Burke-Gilroy later thought he had a first A-League goal but he and Perth were denied for offside by a video assistant referee (VAR) check.
Last season's beaten finalist Sydney FC played out a goalless draw in the derby against Western Sydney Wanderers, for which former Everton, Manchester City and Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell made his debut off the bench.
Indeed, Rodwell almost made a swift impact with a 30-yard rocket that Andrew Redmayne saved, as a boisterous crowd at CommBank Stadium witnessed a stalemate.
Tony Popovich made a winning start to his Melbourne Victory tenure, with stand-in captain Roderick Miranda heading in the only goal of the game in a 1-0 triumph over Western United.