Sport

Belief pays off for Adelaide

Sergio van Dijk (back) of Adelaide celebrates the first goal with team-mate Jonathan McKain during the AFC Champions League Group E match between Gamba Osaka and Adelaide United at Expo '70 Stadium on May 16, 2012 in Osaka, Japan.
Sergio van Dijk (back) of Adelaide celebrates the first goal with team-mate Jonathan McKain during the AFC Champions League Group E match between Gamba Osaka and Adelaide United at Expo '70 Stadium on May 16, 2012 in Osaka, Japan. Koji Watanabe - Getty Images

ADELAIDE United captain Eugene Galekovic and his teammates believed in their ability.

That belief has now paid off with a home game in the AFC Champions League knockout round of 16.

The Reds finished first in Group E after a 2-0 win over Gamba Osaka in Japan on Wednesday night to set up a sudden-death clash with Nagoya Grampus at Hindmarsh Stadium on May 29.

Sergio van Dijk broke the deadlock in the second half before an own goal secured the win. It's the third time Adelaide has made it past the group stage out of four attempts, a record unmatched for an Australian club in the competition.

Goalkeeper Galekovic, who kept four clean sheets and conceded only two goals in six group games, said reaching the last 16 was "massive".

"I believed we could get through and I think a lot of the boys did," he said.

"Obviously you get some of the outside people thinking how much we struggled in the A-League and that we would struggle in the ACL, but it happened last time as well.

"We believed we could do it and now we've done it."

Brisbane Roar finished its inaugural AFC Champions League campaign tied for last and without a win after failing to make the most of plenty of chances in the 1-1 draw with Beijing Guoan at home on Wednesday.

A-League top scorer Besart Berisha was on target for the hosts.

Topics:  adelaide united fc, asian champions league


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