After watching what unfolded last night, Coach John Kosmina has the utmost confidence the Reds can get past Bunyodkor in the return leg.
Despite the contrasting fortunes and emotions of last night-s draw with Bunyodkor, Adelaide United Coach John Kosmina maintains the Reds are well and truly capable of getting the result they need in the return leg in Tashkent on October 3.
Flying with a 2-nil lead that could and should have been more in a stunning first half display, the game then turned on its head for the Reds when Nigel Boogaard was sent off less than five minutes before the break.
Bunyodkor scored from the subsequent free kick to only trail by a goal and give them a sniff knowing they would have the luxury of an extra player on the pitch for the remainder of the contest.
The equalising goal came from the visitors as the Reds hung on despite a late Bunyodkor barrage, the spoils shared in a game that in the end could well have gone either way.
So instead of waking up this morning with a goal advantage, the Reds find themselves level with their Uzbek rivals after the 1st Leg knowing they now simply need to win or draw at least 3-3 or better to guarantee a place in the Semi Finals.
A 2-2 result at Jar Stadium on October 3 would send the tie into extra time and possibly a penalty shootout.
But after watching his team dismantle Bunyodkor in the opening 35 minutes at Hindmarsh, Kosmina has no doubt that victory is achievable away from home, especially with the full complement on the field.
“It was a joy to watch,” Kosmina said of the Reds- period of dominance.
“It was almost demonstration football but it-s all of the stuff that we-ve worked on for the past ten or eleven weeks…it was a joy to behold.”
“You have to go to Tashkent with confidence looking at the way that we played. With ten fit players and a goalkeeper on the park will make a hell of a difference and I-m quite confident we can get something out of the game over there.”
Considering the number of chances the Reds created but failed to capitalise from, Kosmina-s task will be to quickly erase any thoughts amongst the squad about it being the one that got away.
“The boys are a bit disappointed and rightly so, but we had a chat after the game and said don-t get your heads down because it was a fantastic footballing performance and that should give us every bit of confidence to take with us to the game in Tashkent in two week-s time,” Kosmina said.
“If they (Bunyodkor) think that we-re going to go over there and play like we did in the first 35 minutes they-re going to have to adjust again, and I think we can play like that over there.”
A remorseful Boogaard bravely fronted the media at the team-s recovery session this morning, the incident that saw him shown a straight red card sure to still be on his mind but one he knows he now cannot do anything about.
“Obviously I-m disappointed with myself, probably at a crucial stage of the game when were dominating and looking quite comfortable to get a result out of the game, it was a spur of the moment decision I took,” Boogaard said.
“It-s always easy to look back in hindsight and say you-d change your mind, but it-s a decision I look back on and have to learn from, and hopefully it won-t affect us going forward and the boys can go over there and get the result.”
“I apologised to everyone individually when they came into the change room and just said how proud I was with how much they gave for the rest of that game, and apologised for the situation I put them in. It-s only half time in this tie and with the way we performed, we-re confident we can go over there and get the result.”
The squad will have the weekend off before resuming training on Monday.