Adelaide United FC continues to defy the odds in Asia’s prestigious club competition as the Reds take a firm hold on Group E following their win over the Pohang Steelers last night.
Adelaide United FC continues to defy the odds in Asia-s prestigious club competition as the Reds take a firm hold on Group E following their win over the Pohang Steelers last night.
Despite having its share of knockers about its focus around a more organised and defensively minded approach heading into its matches against some of Asia-s most decorated and technically talented clubs, Adelaide United sits three points clear at the top of its group and is setting the pace thanks to three wins from its four games.
Last night-s victory at the death over the Steelers in front of a jubilant home crowd now means the Reds have beaten all three of its opponents in Group E and defeated the K-League giants four times from six meetings.
Making the Reds- current position even more significant is that while they are on the brink of progressing through to the Round of 16, Australia-s other two entrants in the competition, the more fancied Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners, are finding out just how difficult it is to succeed on the Asian stage.
Both the Mariners and the Roar, who finished one-two at the end of the minor round of the current Hyundai A-League season, are battling to keep touch with the all important top two positions in their groups after both suffered defeats in Match Day 4.
On the other hand, the Reds, who finished ninth in the Hyundai A-League, need just one more point from their remaining two games to be assured of a top two finish. On face value it may be hard for many to comprehend it, but Reds Coach John Kosmina is not surprised by what his team has accomplished so far thanks to the way they have gone about it.
Restricting an opponent-s space in attack and freedom to play through a disciplined and well structured game plan may not sound highly attractive, but Kosmina and the squad has faith in what they are doing and for the most part they have executed it to telling effect.
“Any win is important but now we-re three points clear on top of the group playing negative football, so we-ve got to look at it in a positive light don-t we,” Kosmina said at the squad-s recovery session this morning at Henley Beach.
“It (the game style) is not negative, it-s about how you stop the opposition from playing because that-s what football is about, it-s what you do out of possession and then it-s what you do with possession.”
“We didn-t do very well in possession in Pohang two weeks ago but last night we did really well when we had possession so it was a different mindset.”
The home side was made to wait until late on to break through for the winner against Pohang last night as Bruce Djite struck the killer blow in the 90th minute, but even leading up to that point when the game appeared to be heading for a stalemate, Kosmina had not given up hope.
“I thought it was still winnable, that-s why we put Teeboy (Kamara) on and that-s why we were looking at what else you could have done to win the game,” Kosmina said.
“You-ve always got to think you-re going to win the game, it doesn-t matter what time of the game it is. Even if you-re losing you can think can we get another one, how can we catch up, so you-ve always got to think about winning.”
This is what Kosmina will be hoping the Reds can keep doing as they now look ahead to Match Day 5 against Uzbek club Bunyodkor at Hindmarsh Stadium on Wednesday 2 May 2012. Another win or even a point would guarantee Adelaide United an Australian club record third qualification past the AFC Champions League Group Stage.