ACL challenge for Wanderers
After leading 1-0 through a super header from Matt Spiranovic, Roar stormed back to equalise in regulation time before Henrique won it for the home side in extra time 2-1.
Wanderers now must regroup for their midweek clash with the J-League powerhouse Hiroshima away in the round of 16.
"It's a challenge and that's my job to do that," a disconsolate Popovic said post-match.
"Tonight will be tough but we wake up tomorrow and it's a new day.
"And we've got to get on a flight and participate in a prestigious tournament.
"We're in the round of 16, and we play the J-League champions from the last two years.
"It's something special for our club.
"Tonight will be tough but come tomorrow we get on that plane and get focussed so we can do ourselves proud over there.
As for picking up himself, Popovic was similarly philosophical.
"I'll find a way, tonight. I'll find a way. Yeah it hurts. Of course it hurts. I'd be lying if I said it didn't hurt," he said.
"Seeing how close we came. But that's all part of it. And I'll wake up tomorrow and be focused on this job we have, which is a trip to Japan.And we want to get through."
Wanderers play their second leg against Hiroshima next week in Parramatta.