Reds score stunning win over Bunyodkor

Adelaide United FC has started its AFC Champions League 2012 in stunning fashion by toppling four time Uzbek league champions Bunyodkor 2-1 at Jar Stadium.

Adelaide United FC has started its AFC Champions League 2012 in stunning fashion by toppling four time Uzbek league champions Bunyodkor 2-1 at Jar Stadium.

An exceptional disciplined defensive performance from the Reds was capped off by two cracking counter punching goals that left the home side searching for answers and gave United an ideal platform heading into the remainder of the Group Stage.

As they have done numerous times in past campaigns, the Reds continue to defy the odds and refuse to follow the script in the prestigious Asian club competition as Nigel Boogaard gave United the dream start in the 11th minute before Antony Golec completed a superb counter attacking move ** into the second half to make it 2-nil.

Kamoliddin Murzoev pegged a goal back for the home side late in stoppage time but it was not going to spoil the celebrations as the Reds made it two wins from three meetings against Bunyodkor and in the process became the first team to put two goals past the Uzbek club at home in the AFC Champions League.

“In the first half we were obviously dropping off a little bit to give us the opportunity to keep our shape and because we didn-t want to go too far forward because it might have caused us a few problems,” Luciano Trani said in his post game assessment.

“In the second half Bunyodkor played very well but we defended really well. It was a disciplined performance and the players showed a lot of character.”

On the same pitch that fielded the Olympic qualifier between Uzbekistan and Australia in snow weeks earlier, Bunyodkor won a couple of early free kicks in dangerous positions but the Reds- defence and Eugene Galekovic diffused the threats.

Slowly acclimatising and playing their way into the game, the Reds appeared by no means overawed and in the 11th minute they silenced the parochial crowd with a brilliantly worked set piece from an Iain Ramsay corner, Boogaard rising to hammer a header into the back of the net, giving Bunyodkor-s national team goalkeeper Ignatiy Nesterov no chance.

Bunyodkor-s experienced and talented captain Victor Karpenko did his best to try and lift his team to a quick fire response, but Golec was doing a fine job to contain his influence.

Ramsay went close to adding another for the Reds late in the half, his dipping shot going inches over the crossbar and landing on the roof of the net.

The home side tried to force the issue but were lacking polish in their first official game since the end of their pre season, the Reds surviving and defending stoutly to the break to keep their lead in tact.

Shortly after the restart, a fine build up between Zenon Caravella and Dario Vidosic down the right saw the latter with time to measure a cross in for Bruce Djite but he could not direct his header on target due to some close attention from his marker.

Former Sydney FC and now current Bunyodkor winger David Carney was starting to put his stamp on the game, but the Australian-s radar was off target as he unloaded a couple shots from distance.

Another Bunyodkor free kick just outside the penalty area spelt more trouble for the Reds but instead of conceding from it they stung with a brilliant counter attack to put them two goals in front.

Galekovic launched a long throw into the open path of Vidosic who looked up and fed a rampaging Golec down the channel. Golec-s intent to support made it a three on one to the Reds and with a free Ramsay to his left, he put a pass between the legs of the Bunyodkor defender out for the fleet-footed winger.

Nesterov did well to save Ramsay-s attempt but Golec had followed up and just as he was going to ground, he managed to put the ball from the rebound into the net.

Boogaard and Osama Malik both produced crucial tackles and blocks in their own penalty area as the home side turned up the urgency but the Reds would also still ask questions at the other end, Vidosic stinging the gloves of Nesterov from long range.

Bunyodkor coach Mirdjalal Kasimov went to his bench for his final two substitutions and they immediately lifted the home side to another gear but the Reds- defence was not buckling.

Aware that Bunyodkor has developed a reputation of scoring late on in games, Galekovic stepped up to keep the Reds- lead in tact, first saving from Shavkat Salomov and then tipping over a curling Karpenko effort.

The Reds were being forced to absorb a wave of Bunyodkor pressure and Galekovic was at his best again to deny Bahodir Pardaev when he appeared destined to score, while Jon McKain-s late steadying influence in his first appearance since returning from a knee injury in the final five minutes was also significant.

Considering the intent and desire the Reds had played with, it would almost have been fitting that they came away with a clean sheet but they would have to be satisfied with a 2-1 score line as Bunyodkor broke through in stoppage time.

The Reds now return home to prepare for a Hyundai A-League encounter against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday. Adelaide United-s next AFC Champions League match is at home against Gamba Osaka, who went down 3-0 to the Pohang Steelers in the other completed game in Group E.

Match Details Bunyodkor 1 (Murzoev 90+4-) Adelaide United FC 2 (Boogaard 12-, Golec 53-) Referee: Andre El Haddad (Lebanon) Crowd: 7,000 @ Jar Stadium

Bunyodkor line-up: 1.Ignatiy NESTEROV (gk), 2.Akmal SHORAKHMEDOV, 4.Hayrulla KARIMOV, 6.Anvar GAFUROV, 7.David CARNEY (10.Shavkat SALOMOV 64-), 11.Emil KENZHISSARIYEV (8.Jovlon IBROKHIMOV 46-), 13.Lutfulla TURAEV, 18.Slavoljub DJORDJEVIC, 20.Anvarjon SOLIEV (17.Kamoliddin MURZOEV 64-), 22.Victor KARPENKO (c), 24.Bahodir PARDAEV

Substitutes not used: 16.Artyom FILIPOSYAN, 23.Sakhob JUAEV, 33.Jan KOZAK, 45.Akbar TURAEV (gk) Yellow Cards: Nil Red Cards: Nil

Adelaide United line-up: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 2.Osama MALIK, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 5.Daniel MULLEN, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA (21.Francisco USUCAR 72-), 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 11.Bruce DJITE (9.Sergio VAN DIJK 62-), 12.Antony GOLEC, 14.Cameron WATSON, 17.Iain RAMSAY, 18.Fabian BARBIERO (4.Jon McKAIN 85-)

Substitutes not used: 15.Jacob MELLING, 20.Mark Birighitti (gk) Yellow Cards: Vidosic 90+4- Red Cards: Nil