Kossie eager to sew up Round of 16 passage

Coach John Kosmina would dearly like the Reds to wrap up a place in the Round of 16 in their match against Bunyodkor.

Coach John Kosmina would dearly like the Reds to wrap up a place in the Round of 16 in their match against Bunyodkor.

Ahead of Adelaide United-s final home game of the Group Stage, Kosmina does not want to rely on needing a result in the final Match Day, which sees the Reds away to Gamba Osaska, to progress to the next round.

Three points ahead of Bunyodkor and Pohang heading into Match Day 5, the Reds have their destiny in their own hands. This scenario has not escaped Kosmina, who would much prefer the luxury of heading to Osaka to tackle the 2008 ACL champions knowing their place in the Round of 16 is secure.

“We don-t want to go to Japan in just over two weeks chasing a result because as much as Gamba are bottom of the group at the moment, playing in front of their home crowd they-ve certainly got a lot to play for apart from pride,” Kosmina said.

“So it becomes not imperative I suppose, but we-d prefer not to go to Japan needing three points to get through.”

In order to avoid a tense final day, the Reds must take something out of the game against Bunyodkor at Hindmarsh, which Kosmina states is easier said than done, despite United being at home.

When the teams met back in Match Day 1 in the Uzbek capital Tashkent, Bunyodkor had yet to begin their domestic league, while in contrast the Reds were nearing the conclusion of their Hyundai A-League campaign.

But regardless of what Bunyodkor bring to the table on Wednesday night, Kosmina is confident his charges can do the job.

“I think they (Bunyodkor) will be a little bit more polished and coherent and cohesive than they were when we played them over there,” Kosmina said.

“They had come back from a month long training camp in Dubai and they played against some fairly decent opposition and got some good results. I think we rattled them early because we scored early and we had a good first half over there.”

“They had us on the ropes in the second half but the travel situation wasn-t great, we-d gone from a warm climate here to a fairly cold climate over there, so it-s a bit of a role reversal - they-ve got to come from a colder climate, so there are all of those little things to weigh up, so we-ve got to be able to match it with them on a football level which I think we can and certainly on a mental and physical level as well.”

Interestingly, the Reds are currently tied for second in the competition for the least number of goals conceded to this point, having only allowed two goals so far. One would have to think another stingy defensive effort against Bunyodkor would go a long way to making sure Kosmina gets his wish.

Tickets for the match are available through Ticketek.