Take a trip down memory lane to that unforgettable night in 2008 when the Reds last met Bunyodkor in the Knockout Stage at Hindmarsh.
To continue building up the anticipation and excitement of Adelaide United-s second journey into the AFC Champions League Knockout Stage, we thought we would take a trip down memory lane to that unforgettable night in 2008 when the Reds last met Bunyodkor in the Knockout Stage at Hindmarsh.
The date was October 8, 2008. The occasion – the 1st Leg of the ACL Semi Finals. The venue – a sold out Hindmarsh Stadium. The opponent – a highly fancied and wealthy Bunyodkor, a team coached by Brazilian legend Zico and players comprising of former World Player of the Year Rivaldo and a host of Uzbek internationals.
The Reds were not meant to have made it this far into the competition and were supposedly way out of their depth coming up against a team of Bunyodkor-s calibre. A classic case of David v Goliath.
What eventuated certainly did not follow the script of what was meant to unfold. After a scoreless opening 45 minutes, Adelaide United stunned Bunyodkor with three second half goals to completely turn the tie in the Reds- favour.
Now, less than a week out from another massive encounter against the same foe, we decided to get some special contributions from a number of players who took the field in a red shirt that night. As they recall their memories of that night which saw a capacity crowd cheer the Reds on to one of their most famous victories, we hope it arouses a similar passion inside of you of how big an occasion it is and that can-t wait for Wednesday night.
To re-jog your memory, an extract from the match report that night was as follows…
All three goals came in a breathtaking second 45 minutes, Diego starting the avalanche with a well taken finish in the 57th minute before Fabian Barbiero bobbed up to make it 2-nil 19 minutes later. Cristiano topped off the result with a penalty nearing full time, United-s extraordinary run towards AFC Champions League glory gets even stronger.
The first half certainly lived up to the billing, a frenetic opening 20 minutes played at lightning intensity. United-s young, less experienced troops Daniel Mullen and Fabian Barbiero did not show any signs of being overawed by the occasion or their high profile opponents. Bunyodkor had the better of the early play, The Reds made to build up slowly due to the visitor-s pressure.
Travis Dodd went on a penetrating run into the area for United-s best chance of the half, and despite the lack of opportunities created in the opening 45 minutes, Vidmar would have gone into the break thinking it could break through.
Just before half time the Reds were aided when Bunyodkor-s lively Chilean international striker Jose Luis Villaneuva-s night ended with a leg injury. Scoreless at the break, in the 49th minute United were nearly made to pay dearly for coughing up the ball in midfield, substitute Bakaev rifling a shot just wide of Galekovic-s right post.
Then in the 57th minute, the momentum of the game swung towards the home side when a first time Cassio cross allowed Diego to chest the ball down from eight yards and placed it into the corner of the net. Hindmarsh Stadium erupted and the Reds, up against a greatly resourced Bunyodkor outfit, were playing out of their skins.
Rivaldo tried very hard to make his presence felt on the park, but the Adelaide side were not overawed by the Brazilian star trying to intimidate the Reds. As United handled the increased urgency from Bunyodkor coach Brazilian legend Zico-s charges, in the 76th minute the Reds doubled their lead when another Cassio ball from the left to the far post, was headed down by Dodd which found Barbiero was lurking to head the ball into the net from 6 metres.
Suddenly United was on the charge and full of run, Bunyodkor appearing fatigued and desperate, as the Reds could scent another goal. It came in the 89th minute after best on field Cassio stormed into the penalty area and was brought down, the referee having no hesitation to award a penalty. Cristiano delivered from the spot and Adelaide United had a three goal advantage heading into the return leg in Taskent.
So four years on, what do some of the players recall from that magical Asian night?
“From that night, the biggest thing I remember is the atmosphere. It was talked about so much having Rivaldo there, a World Cup winner and the amount of money he was on, and walking out onto the field I would definitely say that is was one of the best games that I-ve had at Hindmarsh Stadium with Adelaide. The support that night was electric and I remember Robbie Cornthwaite fouled Rivaldo and stood over him, and I think that really brought the crowd to life. Scoring the goals, especially at that scoreboard end where the red army congregate was just an electric atmosphere.”
“The semi-final in 2008 against Bunyodkor was my first start for Adelaide United. Being 18 at the time, it was an experience I will never forget!! The atmosphere literally brought goose bumps to my skin.”
“We were never meant to win that game. They had a glamour side including Rivaldo and Zico was their coach, however the crowd that night was unbelievable and gave us that extra spark and fight. I genuinely believe a major reason we won 3-0 was largely due to the crowd and the noise they generated that night.”
“It was pretty special. The occasion that is it – the Group Stage was quite good but the fact that you-re playing in a knockout over two legs, it-s a do-or-die kind of situation so I think that kind of pressure brings out the best in players. It has a lot of parallels to the Champions League in Europe.
The whole city got a grip of it and that-s what made it most special. The whole city bought into it and walking out onto the pitch, it was a sea of red – that-s what I remember the most. Just seeing the stands completely red, it gives me tingles down the back now just thinking about it.
I remember the goal that Diego Walsh scored when Cassio went down the line and crossed it. Jut the celebration after he scored was a pretty surreal moment and then that final whistle went, and all of the boys, even the ones that weren-t on the bench, came down.
The players they had in their team were pretty awesome players, so the fact that we beat them convincingly, I think it played a part that the whole town and the fans really bought into the fact that they thought we could do well. So I think if the fans show the same enthusiasm and support, then there is no reason this group of players now can-t do the job.”
“Once the game started it was all a bit of blur. It was pretty tight early and felt like it was heading towards a nil-all draw and then all of a sudden we scored one and then the second one came pretty much straight after, so we were shocked but very happy to see 3-0 at the end.
I think the defining moment in the game was when we got that first goal. It all just happened so quickly. As players, you don-t expect these teams to open up and let you in, but they did and we scored three goals.
You know there is going to be a big crowd when you-re driving to the game two hours before kick-off and people are lining up to get in. Then when we ran out to warm up and saw most of the eastern side full, you know it-s going to be a packed house. There wasn-t an empty seat in the stadium and when we walked out for the start of the game there was a huge roar. Then after we scored the first goal it was one of the biggest roars I-ve heard there so it was fantastic. Hopefully the crowd gets out there again and appreciates what the team at the moment is doing. To get to the quarter finals of the ACL and you see the players some of these clubs have got, we-ve done remarkably well.
The team at the moment reminds me a bit of the way we were back then. We had a poor A-League season, similar to the team at the moment, and then got on a good roll when no one expected us to do any good. Before you know it it-s the quarter finals and anything can happen, so I-m really excited about the chance to see Bunyodkor again.”
“What I remember from the game is that it was a wonderful experience to be a part of it. A full house, semi final of a major tournament, everything to play for. I believe that we were confident about winning the game because we had a great squad that year. We had lost very few games throughout the year, had beaten very good opposition to get to that game and we also had a winning mentality about that team.
My goal was quite special, perhaps the most important one in my career. It was the spark that we needed to close out the game strongly and get us to the final. My thoughts about the goal, I just remember finding myself on the way to the opposition’s box as soon as I knew Cassio intended to cross that ball. Fortunately the ball fell right to my chest. At that moment, I realized I had a little bit of time so I let the ball bounce once and then just volleyed it home. As soon as I scored the noise and the support from the Adelaide United fans was really unbelievable. The goal and the crowd gave us a lift to eventually score 2 more goals.”
Were you in the stands that night? If you were, we would love to hear your favourite memory of the game, the atmosphere, the goals.
Before the match on September 19, email your memory to Click here
and we will post them up in the lead up to the game.
AFC Champions League 2008 – Semi Final 1st Leg
Adelaide United FC 3 (Diego 57-, Barbiero 76-, Cristiano 89- (pen))
Crowd: 16,998 @ Hindmarsh Stadium
Referee: Sun Baojie (China)
Adelaide United: 30.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 4.Angelo COSTANZO, 6.CASSIO, 10.CRISTIANO, 13.Travis DODD (c) (21.Jason SPAGNUOLO 77-), 14.Scott JAMIESON, 16.Daniel MULLEN (5.Michael VALKANIS 81-), 18.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 22.DIEGO (7.Lucas PANTELIS 83-), 24.Paul REID, 26.Fabian BARBIERO
Substitutes Not Used: 9.Paul AGOSTINO, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 25.Robert YOUNIS
Yellow Cards: Jamieson 64-
Red Cards: Nil
Bunyodkor/Kuruvchi: 25.Bugalo PAVEL (gk), 2.Bakhtiyor ASHURMATOV, 5.LUIZAO, 6.RIVALDO, 14.RAIMKULOV (20.Anvarjon SOLIEV 82-), 17.Jose Luis VILLANUEVA (10.Ulugbek BAKAEV 45-), 19.Jasur HASANOV (9.Shavkat SALOMOV 69-), 23.Sakhob JURAYEV, 26.Azizbek HAYDAROV, 29.Timur KAPADZE, 30.Server DJEPAROV (c)
Substitutes Not Used: 4.Hayrulla KARIMOV, 8.Rashidjon GOFUROV, 12.Murotjon ZUKHUROV, 13.KHVOSTUNOV
Yellow Cards: Bakaev 85-
Red Cards: Nil