Adelaide United Head Coach, Guillermo Amor, hailed his side’s resilient qualities, after the Reds salvaged a 3-3 draw away to Gamba Osaka in Group H of the AFC Champions League on Tuesday night.
Baba Diawara rescued a point in the 92nd minute for the visitors to keep alive their chances of advancing to the knockout stages of the competition for an Australian record fourth time.
A win over the already qualified Jiangsu Suning on matchday six in two weeks’ time would guarantee a place in the last 16 for Adelaide, but only if Jeju fail to beat Gamba.
Speaking on the result, Amor admitted he was satisfied with the team’s overall performance, despite the slow start.
“I think the match was a good game,” Amor told reporters.
“We played a good game here in Osaka against a very good team.
“The result is not bad, we prefer to always win of course … But I think in a lot of moments we had the control of the game and we tried to play.
“It was tough because Gamba pressed, but I’m content that our team played well and fought and competed well.”
Gamba found themselves 2-0 ahead inside after 15 minutes, but Sergio Cirio halved the deficit prior to the break.
Jordan O’Doherty levelled proceedings in phenomenal style with an unstoppable strike, before the hosts would first miss a penalty via Endo and then regain the lead in the 77th minute.
Amor reflected on what was an entertaining, end-to-end encounter and revealed falling behind early by two goals made it extra difficult.
“Today was difficult because we conceded the first goal inside five minutes from a corner,” he said.
“It’s always hard especially away and after we conceded the second goal, which was a very good goal.
“After being 2-0 down the team wants to win and this is very important.
“The team believed today and we achieved (a good result).”
United was understrength for the clash missing Dylan McGowan, Taylor Regan and Riley McGree through suspension.
Amor lauded the players who stepped up and filled the voids left by the absent trio.
“It’s true that some players couldn’t play today in our team, in our defence,” he said.
“The players that played today (Ben Warland and Mark Ochieng) in centre-back or full-back in this case who don’t usually play were very good.”
Adelaide United host Jiangsu Suning in their final AFC Champions League 2017 group stage match on Tuesday, 9 May at Hindmarsh Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.30pm ACST.