Adelaide United will need to find the back of the net in Tashkent on Thursday morning (AEST). Image courtesy of abc.net.au/Getty Images
Leading 2-0 after just 16 minutes of its AFC Champions League quarter-final at Hindmarsh Stadium last month, Adelaide United seemingly had one foot in the semi-final door against Uzbekistan powerhouse Bunyodkor . 74 minutes and two away goals later, it is the Uzbeks who go in to the reverse leg in the better spot, with the Reds now in the position of having to score away from home to have any hope of progressing.
The long flight to Tashkent won’t help matters, but United did steal the three points in the group stage in March. They won 2-1 on that occasion at Jar Stadium, and only conceded after four minutes of stoppage time in the second half. They’ll be without the suspended Nigel Boogaard, though, who scored the opening goal in that match.
While Adelaide has had only the A-League pre-season to keep them occupied, Bunyodkor continues to sweep all before it in the Uzbekistan Professional Football League. They’ve won both games since their last encounter with the Reds to sit on top of the PFL table.
Whichever team goes through will play the winner of the tie between South Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai and Al Hilal from Saudi Arabia.
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