Determined to make home advantage count


Luciano Trani and Eugene Galekovic are determined for the Reds to seize the moment when they front up at home against the Pohang Steelers tomorrow night.

Adelaide United FC Assistant Coach Luciano Trani and captain Eugene Galekovic are determined to seize the moment when the Reds front up at home against the Pohang Steelers tomorrow night in a game both described as ‘massive- in the context of United-s AFC Champions League 2012 campaign.

Entering the second half of the Group Stage, Adelaide United shares top spot with Pohang in Group E, equal on points and goal difference with the K-League side with three match days remaining.

After suffering their first defeat in five previous meetings to Pohang when they went down 1-0 at the Steelyard in South Korea a fortnight ago, the Reds have their next two matches at home and Galekovic is focused on turning the tables back in United-s favour.

“It-s time to make amends tomorrow night, we-ve got a chance to do that and it (the loss in Pohang) is one of those things that you-ve got to get out of your system straight away and forget about it,” Galekovic said.

“It-s a massive game for both teams, they-re obviously on the same points as us and they want to win as much as we do, so whoever wins is going to be that one step closer to qualifying.”

“It-s our home game and we-re after six points from our next two games to qualify and if we can do that we-re through.”

Trani, like Galekovic, is of the same view. The Reds- registered Head Coach for the AFC Champions League declared the Reds would not go into the game content with trying to play for a draw, particularly at Hindmarsh Stadium with the support of a parochial home crowd.

“We want to go for the win,” Trani said.

“I think it-s important if we can get three points now and go to nine with two games left, it really sets us up to possibly look for a draw in the remaining two games.”

“A number of series previously have shown that ten points has been sufficient (to progress) so we-re playing at home and we need to take full advantage of this opportunity.”

When the sides met a fortnight ago at the Steelyard, Pohang never allowed the Reds to settle as they pressed and pressured any United player on the ball, particularly whenever the Reds looked to get forward.

Notably, on that night the thermometer was a wintry six degrees, but with the mercury expected to reach 30 degrees tomorrow, Galekovic believes the conditions could stand to favour the Reds this time around in terms of how Pohang approach the contest.

“I think it will play a bit of a factor,” Galekovic said of the conditions.

“They (Pohang) are coming from temperatures of around 10 degrees to temperatures of 30 degrees, so it-s going to be a big step for them and they might tire a little bit earlier, but in saying that they might play a different way as well.”

“They pressed us last time but we-re not sure how they-re going to play tomorrow so we-ll see in the first five minutes.”

“We obviously played them two weeks ago so we know how they play…but that-s the same the other way as well. They kind of know how we play so it-s a bit of cat and mouse but we-ll be ready for them.”

AFC Champions League 2012 – Match Day 4
Adelaide United FC (AUS) v Pohang Steelers (KOR)

Wednesday 18 April 2012, Hindmarsh Stadium
Kick-Off: 7.30pm ACST
Referee: Liu Kwok Man (Hong Kong)

Tickets: Available through Ticketek (call 132 849, online at www.ticketek.com.au)
TV: Live and exclusive on FOX Sports 3
Twitter: twitter.com/adelutd_fc (hash tag #ACLaumd4)

Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 2.Osama MALIK, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 4.Jon McKAIN, 5.Daniel MULLEN, 6.CASSIO, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 11.Bruce DJITE, 12.Antony GOLEC, 13.Ricardo DA SILVA, 14.Cameron WATSON, 15.Jacob MELLING, 17.Iain RAMSAY, 18.Fabian BARBIERO, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 21.Francisco USUCAR, 22.Iain FYFE, 23.Evan KOSTOPOULOS

Pohang Steelers squad: 1.HWA YONG (gk), 2.HEE CHUL, 3.KWANG SUK, 5.WON JAE, 6.SHIN JIN-HO, 7.Zoran RENDULIC, 8.JIN SUNG, 9.JI SOO, 10.Derek ASAMOAH, 11.Park SUNGHO, 13.WON IL, 14.TAE SU, 15.JUNG HONG-YOUN, 16.KIM JIN-RYONG, 17.SHIN KWANG-HOON, 18.MOO YUL, 20.HYUNG MIN (c), 22.BYUNG JUN, 24.DAE HO, 26.CHAN HO, 27.Iainis ZICU, 28.AN IL-JOO, 29.LEE MYUNG-JOO, 30.KIM CHAN-HEUI, 31.DA SOL (gk)

Adelaide United v Pohang Steelers – HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
Played 5 – Adelaide United 3 wins, Pohang Steelers 1 win, 1 Draw