On the eve of the Reds’ clash with Bunyodkor, we look back at the phenomenal night that unfolded the last time the sides met at Hindmarsh.
On the eve of the Reds- clash with Bunyodkor, we look back at the phenomenal night that unfolded the last time the sides met at Hindmarsh.
The date was October 8, 2008 and Adelaide United was in the midst of a historic run in the AFC Champions League. After toppling J-League giants the Kashima Antlers 2-1 on aggregate in the quarter finals, the Reds were pitted against Bunyodkor, a decorated, wealthy team, in the semis.
The Uzbek club may have been highly unfamiliar to most in Australia, but they featured some of football-s biggest names. Coached by Brazilian great Zico, Bunyodkor also had former World Player of the Year Rivaldo in its playing ranks along with a host of Uzbek national players.
Few gave the Reds little chance of troubling the Uzbek giants and many would have failed to imagine what would transpire on that remarkable night at Hindmarsh.
In front of a capacity home crowd in scenes reminiscent of Adelaide United-s first ever game back in October 2003, the Reds walked out knowing they were already making history as the first Australian club to reach the semi finals of the prestigious club competition.
After a frenetic opening, which saw United forced to absorb an early Bunyodkor raid, the Reds settled into the contest, defender Daniel Mullen doing a sterling job to minimise Rivaldo-s influence.
Half time came with neither side able to break the deadlock, although Bunyodkor-s cause was not aided when lively Chilean striker Jose Luis Villaneuva-s night ended with a leg injury.
As the teams reappeared for the second half, little did the crowd know that what they were about to witness in the next 45 minutes would go down in United folklore. It started in the 57th minute when a first time Cassio cross allowed Diego to chest the ball down and send it into the back of the net to stun the visitors. Hindmarsh Stadium erupted and the Reds, up against it, were playing out of their skins.
He lead was then doubled in the 76th minute when another Cassio ball to the far post was headed down by Travis Dodd and found Fabian Barbiero lurking to head the ball into the net from close range.
Then, if the Reds fans did not think it could get any better, in the 89th minute Cassio was brought down in the penalty area, allowing countryman Cristiano to step up and convert from the spot to make it 3-nil and one of the club-s best ever victories.
Cassio was a standout as he had a hand in all three of the Reds- second half goals, the Brazilian making it a magical Asian night that is sure to stick in the memories of everyone who was there for a long time to come.
Can the Reds repeat their feat and record another famous victory over Bunyodkor at Hindmarsh? Book your ticket now from Ticketek to find out.
Adelaide United 3 (Diego 57-, Barbiero 76-, Cristiano 89- (pen))
Crowd: 16,998 @ Hindmarsh Stadium