O’Doherty hopes Reds’ fighting spirit continues in ACL

Jordan O’Doherty says Adelaide United will do everything it can to progress to the round of 16 in the AFC Champions League, following a 3-3 away draw with Gamba Osaka on matchday five.

Sergio Cirio, Baba Diawara and O’Doherty all scored for the Reds, as they back twice to rescue a vital point at the Suita City Football Stadium. 

Despite, the Reds keeping alive their chances of progressing to the knockout stages, destiny is out of the third-placed Adelaide’s hands, who trail Korean outfit Jeju United by one point in Group H.

United must beat the already qualified Jiangsu Suning on matchday six and hope Jeju fail to defeat Gamba Osaka. 

A draw for Jeju will still see Guillermo Amor’s men advance to the last 16, due to possessing a superior head-to-head record. 

O’Doherty was pleased with Adelaide’s resilience and said the Reds must now eye a Jiangsu scalp to have any chance of reaching the next round.

“We have shown a great fighting spirit this whole Asian Champions League campaign,” he said.

“We’re doing really well still and we have got Jiangsu at home in a couple of weeks and we need to fight for that game as well.

“We need to win to have any chance of progressing, we need to give everything we have got.

“There’s no fear because we have shown we can do it against the other Asian sides.

“We’ll recover well, train hard and we’ll take it into the game against Jiangsu.” 

O’Doherty, who scored United’s second goal in the game versus Gamba, reflected on his sublime strike.

“Obviously happy with every goal I score, and it’s a bit nicer to score it from a bit of a distance out in the Asian Champions League as well,” he said, after scoring a scintillating drive from outside the 18-yard box.

“It was nice to score and obviously it would’ve been nicer if it contributed towards a win.”

The 19-year-old hailed Baba Diawara’s performance against Gamba and his presence at the Club since joining midway through the season.

The Senegalese talisman was involved in all three goals, registering two assists before heading home a last-gasp equaliser.

“With Baba (Diawara) in the side now it’s great for midfielders because we can play off him,” O’Doherty explained.

“He can hold up the ball so well.

“He’s a great player, and he’s been a great addition to the squad.

“He’s scored goals for us since he’s come in and he supplies for all the rest of the players and he can score goals.”

O’Doherty also called for fans to fill Hindmarsh Stadium for their do-or-die clash with Jiangsu in just under a fortnight.

“It’s completely important for the fans to come out and give us support,” he continued.

“Obviously we haven’t achieved anything in the A-League this season and we have a chance now to achieve something in the Asian Champions League.

“So it’s completely important for them to come out and support us because we need all the support we can get.”

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.