Adelaide United’s AFC Champions League 2017 campaign has ended following a 1-0 loss to Jiangsu Suning on a freezing Tuesday night at Hindmarsh Stadium.
However, the defeat ultimately proved insignificant as Jeju United beat Gamba Osaka to progress to the round of 16.
Adelaide dominated the clash but it was a Ji Xiang effort which broke the deadlock as the Reds were made to lament a plethora of missed chances.
Head Coach, Guillermo Amor, made three changes to the starting XI which drew to Gamba Osaka last time out. Dylan McGowan and Taylor Regan returned to the heart of defence, while Riley McGree replaced the suspended Jordan O’Doherty.
Adelaide unsurprisingly showed more of the intent in the opening exchanges with the Reds knowing anything less than a win would not suffice.
Michael Marrone and Nikola Mileusnic overpowered the left side of Jiangsu, consistently delivering a number of inviting crosses into the area.
United’s first genuine sighting at goal came courtesy of McGree. The youngster volleyed his close-range effort straight at Jiang Hao in the 19th minute.
Mileusnic came inches wide of scoring his maiden Champions League goal after his glancing header off Marrone’s cross flashed past the upright.
Adelaide dominated the entire first-half, boasting 72% of the possession and creating 8 chances, but unfortunately, had little to show for it going into the half-time break scoreless.
The second-half continued to see Amor’s side control the tempo as well as muster more opportunities.
McGree showed immense dynamism going forward as his surging run culminated in him delivering a low cross across the face of goal.
Kim Jae-sung linked up well with the attack and constantly tried to unlock a Jiangsu back four which was pegged back for the majority of the clash.
Baba Diawara also saw a header saved onto the upright by Jiang Hao.
But Choi Yong-soo men’s scored a sucker punch on 81 minutes when Ji Xiang struck a low drive into the bottom corner past Eugene Galekovic.
The Reds toiled right until the final whistle but were unable to salvage anything from the contest.
Tuesday, 9 May 2017
AFC Champions League Group H – Matchday Six
Adelaide United 0
Jiangsu Suning 1 (Ji Xiang)