Reds advance to final eight
Defender Jon McKain scored as Adelaide United downed Japan's Nagoya Grampus 1-0 on Tuesday night to advance into the quarter-finals of the Asian Champions League
Defender Jon McKain scored as Adelaide United downed Japan's Nagoya Grampus 1-0 on Tuesday night to advance into the quarter-finals of the Asian Champions League.
McKain's lucky opening half goal ensured Adelaide moved into the final eight of the lucrative Asian competition, just weeks after failing to reach the finals of the domestic A-League.
"The boys are absolutely over the moon," defensive midfielder Iain Fyfe told Grandstand after the win.
"It's understandbly so. Everyone's buzzing and the coaches are happy and we're happy that we got over this stage and we can move into the final eight and take it as far as we can.
"The boys did terrific tonight - they were first-class all over the field.
"Our defence was excellent and our boys up front held it up for us well, Bruce [Djite] in particular was excellent."
McKain scored in the 41st minute of the knockout Hindmarsh Stadium fixture through good fortune more than good planning.
A Dario Vidosic curler bobbled in the box, with Nagoya defenders scrambling for control, when the ball deflected towards McKain near the goal line.
The defender, who was deposed midseason as Adelaide captain in favour of Eugene Galekovic, appeared to luckily shin the ball, with little control, over the line to delight the 9,758-strong Adelaide crowd.
The breakthrough came after an earlier miracle save by Galekovic denied the highly-rated J-League outfit an opener.
The Adelaide skipper appeared to be beaten by a header from Josh Kennedy in the 33rd minute when the Socceroo striker found a slither of space a metre out.
His header was angled into goal only for Galekovic to thrust out his left glove, which was behind his diving body when he deflected the ball from danger.
Galekovic, who kept four clean sheets as Adelaide topped its group in the rich Asian competition, produced another reflex top shelf save in the 63rd minute to maintain Adelaide's lead.
The Reds will now have a break until July 9 for their quarter-final fixture.
In the other quarter-final played, Uzbek outfit Bunyodkor stunned former winners Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma 1-0 thanks to a 52nd minute penalty converted by defender Hayrulla Karimov.
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