Reds confirm their place in AFC Champions League 2012

Adelaide United FC has put to bed any uncertainty surrounding its place in the 2012 ACL after defeating Persipura Jayapura 3-0.

Adelaide United FC has put to bed any uncertainty surrounding its place in the AFC Champions League 2012 after defeating Persipura Jayapura 3-0 in a Play-Off at Hindmarsh Stadium.

The Reds dominated the contest and strangely it was goals from two unlikely sources, defensive pairing Nigel Boogaard and Evgeniy Levchenko, who gave the home side a two goal cushion before Sergio van Dijk put the final nail in the coffin to ensure Adelaide United will compete in the AFC Champions League for a fourth time.

The score line could have been more one-sided if not for some misfiring on goal by the home side, particularly in the opening 45 minutes, but they did what they had to do to in the cut throat encounter.

Initially, a compact Persipura tested the Reds- patience but the Indonesian team-s early resistance ended in the 12th minute when Boogaard struck a well timed shot after a Dario Vidosic corner had created panic in a congested penalty area.

The floodgates threatened to open as Iain Ramsay smashed a shot into the post from an acute angle two minutes later, the Reds looking to put the game out of reach early. Persipura were being exposed at the back but despite the openings, the Reds could not add to their lead.

Only holding on to a one goal advantage, the Reds still had to be on their guard defensively and they were nearly caught out in the 29th minute, Eugene Galekovic arriving on the scene just in time as Titus Bonai played a neat give and go to almost latch onto a through ball in the penalty area, Imanuel Padwa then hitting his shot on the follow up from Galekovic-s block onto the roof of the net.

Vidosic came close in the 34th minute and then Djite and van Dijk both forced a save out of Persipura keeper Yoo Jaehoon, however there were to be no more goals before half time.

The Reds came out purposefully again after the break, Djite meeting a Cameron Watson cross in the 53rd minute only for his header to be denied by a fine reflex save from Jaehoon.

Any nerves were then settled in the 57th minute when a well executed set play gave United its second. An in swinging Vidosic corner to the near post was well headed on by Osama Malik and Levchenko was perfectly positioned on the edge of the six yard box to send a left footed volley into the back of the net.

With a two goal buffer and knowing that United must back up for a game against Sydney FC on Sunday, the Reds- coaching staff brought Djite, Ramsay and Vidosic off, Youth Team striker Evan Kostopoulos given his first official appearance for the senior team.

Van Dijk then added a third with a trademark finish from a Zenon Caravella cross in the 84th minute to emphatically confirm the Reds- place in Group E of the 2012 edition of the prestigious Asian club competition alongside Gamba Osaka, Bunyodkor and either the Pohang Steelers or Chonburi.

Luciano Trani, Adelaide United-s licensed Head Coach for the ACL, was not only pleased to secure the crucial result but also to see the Reds continue to build on their winning momentum.

“In the end it was (a good performance) but in the first half we had a couple of opportunities to make some of those openings count but unfortunately we either took a wrong option or wasted a bit too much time setting up for a strike on goal,” Trani said.

“This game was brought upon us so we needed to physically get ourselves up and mentally be prepared to back up after Gold Coast, and knowing this was a game that was obviously going to make us qualify for the AFC Champions League, we needed to make sure that we won the game.”

“That-s two victories in a row now which we haven-t done for a long time, so that will obviously hold us in good stead for Sunday-s game against Sydney.”

Kick-Off for the match against Sydney FC is at 6.30pm ACDT and tickets are available through Ticketek.

Match Details Adelaide United FC 3 (Boogaard 12-, Levchenko 57-, van Dijk 84-) Persipura Jayapura 0 Referee: Toma Masaaki (Japan) Crowd: 5,013 @ Hindmarsh Stadium

Adelaide United line-up: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 6.Cassio, 8.Evgeniy Levchenko, 9.Sergio van Dijk, 10.Dario Vidosic (15.Jacob Melling 75-), 11.Bruce Djite (23.Evan Kostopoulos 66-), 14.Cameron Watson, 17.Iain Ramsay (7.Zenon Caravella 66-), 18.Fabian Barbiero

Substitutes not used: 13.Ricardo Da Silva, 26.Jon Mavromatis, 27.Jordan Elsey, 38.John Hall (gk) Yellow Cards: Barbiero 67- Red Cards: Nil

Persipura Jayapura line-up: 1.Yoo Jaehoon (gk), 4.Richardo Salampessy, 9.Beto, 12.Imanuel Padwa (10.Zah Rahan 32-), 13.Ian Kabes, 14.Moses Banggo (33.Lukas Mandowen 57-), 15.Gerald Pangkali, 21.Tinus Pae, 25.Titus Bonai, 44.Yohanis Tjoe (11.Imanuel Wanggai 79-), 45.Bio Paulin

Substitutes not used: 6.David Laly, 16.Daniel Tata, 30.Eki Sabilillah (gk), 32.Fiktor Pae Yellow Cards: Bonai 32-, Beto 39- Red Cards: Nil