Adelaide United FC has suffered a heartbreaking Quarter Final exit of the 2012 AFC Champions League after a 3-2 extra time loss to Bunyodkor in the 2nd Leg at Tashkent’s Jar Stadium.
Adelaide United FC has suffered a heartbreaking Quarter Final exit in the 2012 AFC Champions League after a 3-2 extra time loss to Bunyodkor in the 2nd Leg at Tashkent-s Jar Stadium.
After the scores were locked at 2-2 at the end of 90 minutes leaving the tie level at 4-4, it was eventually decided by a 114th minute goal from Alibobo Rakhmatullaev in the second period of extra time, giving Bunyodkor a 5-4 win on aggregate.
A game that included five goals, 12 yellow cards, three send offs and no shortage of tension or love loss saw the Reds lead twice only for the Uzbek club to reply both times and then manufacture a gut wrenching winner just when it seemed the tie was heading for penalties.
While they were brave, the Reds will arguably look back on what might have been as over the two legs, they were never behind until the defining last goal.
In the club-s third match in the Uzbek capital, Adelaide United was not without its standouts despite the result. Except for Lutfulla Turaev-s 20th minute goal, captain Eugene Galekovic repelled a Bunyodkor tidal wave in the first half with some all too familiar breathtaking saves to keep his team in the contest, while defender Jon McKain had the better of his long running battle with Kamoliddin Murzoev which threatened to boil over on numerous occasions.
Jeronimo Neumann made an instant impact off the bench in the second half, scoring his first goal for the club just a minute after coming on to edge United in front again but they could not hold on.
It seems drama follows Adelaide United wherever it goes in the AFC Champions League and this encounter was no exception. Bunyodkor went into the game having won all three of their previous home games in the AFC Champions League knockout stage, but just four minutes in the Reds opened up the home side-s defence to stun the vocal crowd with the game-s opening goal.
Dario Vidosic found himself with space in the front third of the pitch, the Reds- number 10 sending the ball left to Iain Ramsay who took aim and fired a left footed drive that proved too hot for Ignatiy Nesterov.
Suddenly finding themselves behind and needing to chase the game, Bunyodkor immediately turned up the pressure and creating a number of nervous moments for the Reds.
But Bunyodkor found Galekovic in vintage form, reeling off a miracle save from close range and again up to the task moments later from a free kick.
However, there was not much Galekovic could do when Turaev met a Victor Karpenko cross to make it 1-1 after 20 minutes.
With Bunyodkor-s tails up, Galekovic was again called upon to provide heroics as he denied Murzoev twice in one on one situations.
Cassio and youngster Daniel Bowles had their hands full trying to contain Bunyodkor-s wide players, Uzbek international Jasur Khasanov wreaking havoc down the left as the home side pushed for another goal.
But there was no further damage done to half time and just after the hour mark Neumann-s introduction had immediate effect as the Argentine struck, finishing a move that he started on half way with a sublime bit of skill, Vidosic and Ramsay also involved.
The lead was short lived though, Akmal Shorakhmedov responding in the 67th minute to make it 2-2 and open up the possibility of extra time.
A well timed overhead kick from Murzoev hit the crossbar to keep the Reds level and with both sides becoming increasingly desperate to find a winner, United were reduced to ten men when Fabian Barbiero received his second yellow card in the 88th minute.
Nothing separated the teams at the end of 90 minutes as the game entered extra time in what was becoming a battle of attrition.
Neumann and Vidosic created the first serious chance of extra time, Bunyodkor-s defence interceding just in time, before the match was back on a level playing field with 20 minutes to go when Gafurov saw red after his second caution.
Then with penalties on the horizon, Rakhmatullaev broke United hearts with what would prove to be the clincher, the Reds unable to equalise as Bunyodkor wound down the clock.
The squad will depart Tashkent for Kuala Lumpur tonight and remain in KL for the majority of Friday before arriving in Sydney on Saturday morning and hopping on a bus to Newcastle for their opening match of the Hyundai A-League season on Sunday afternoon.
Bunyodkor 3 (Turaev 20-, Shorakhmedov 67-, Rakhmatullaev 104-)
Adelaide United FC 2 (Ramsay 4-, Neumann 62-)
Bunyodkor wins 5-4 on aggregate
Referee: Ali Hasan Ebrahim Abdulnabi Alsamaheeji (Bahrain)
Crowd: 7,212 @ Jar Stadium
Bunyodkor starting line-up: 1.Ignatiy NESTEROV (gk), 2.Akmal SHORAKHMEDOV, 4.Hayrulla KARIMOV, 6.Anvar GAFUROV, 8.Jovlon IBROKHIMOV, 13.Lutfulla TURAEV, 16.Artyom FILIPOSYAN, 17.Kamoliddin MURZOEV, 19.Jasur KHASANOV, 22.Victor KARPENKO (c) (14.Alibobo RAKHMATULLAEV 71-), 33.Jan KOZAK (20.Anvarjon SOLIEV 67- (10.Shavkat SALOMOV 95-))
Substitutes not used: 5.Dilshod JURAEV, 23.Sakhob JURAEV, 24.Bahodir PARDAEV, 45.Akbar TURAEV (gk)
Yellow Cards: Khasanov 66-, Ibrokhimov 76-, Gafurov 88-/100-
Red Cards: Gafurov 100-
Adelaide United starting line-up: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 4.Jon McKAIN, 6.CASSIO, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK (2.Osama MALIK 90+1-), 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 14.Cameron WATSON, 16.Daniel BOWLES, 17.Iain RAMSAY (10.Bruce DJITE 113-), 18.Fabian BARBIERO, 22.Iain FYFE, 23.Evan KOSTOPOULOS (21.Jeronimo NEUMANN 61-)
Substitutes not used: 12.Antony GOLEC, 19.Jake BARKER-DAISH, 30.Paul IZZO (gk)
Yellow Cards: Kostopoulos 31-, Bowles 55-, Vidosic 66-, Barbiero 69-/88-, Fyfe 85-/120-, Neumann 112-
Red Cards: Barbiero 88-, Fyfe 120-