Adelaide struggled with 'very sharp' Gamba - Garuccio

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The Reds' poor season continued in their ACL opener at Coopers Stadium as they shipped three goals in a rematch of the 2008 final

Adelaide United struggled to deal with Gamba Osaka's quality in the AFC Champions League (ACL) on Wednesday night, according to Ben Garuccio.

The Reds conceded twice in the first half at Coopers Stadium before a Dylan McGowan own goal nine minutes from time ensured Gamba triumphed 3-0 in their Group H opener.

While Adelaide had some promising moments throughout the match and finished the game with more possession, passes and a great passing accuracy in their attacking half, the J.League visitors were far more clinical.

Gamba had 14 shots to Adelaide's seven and led shots on target 5-1.

"They [Gamba] were using the ball a lot more efficiently, especially in the first 20 minutes," Garuccio told Fox Sports.

"You could tell with their first goal they were very sharp and it was a good move, good cross and a great header.

"They were finding those spaces inside us a little bit. Their centre-backs were looking for that ball into the midfielder, which we weren't compact enough in the middle.

"That let us down a little bit but they were very sharp and they are a good team and it showed tonight."

Adelaide United 0 Gamba Osaka 3

While Adelaide was on the back-foot for large periods, wingers Garuccio and Nikola Mileusnic both created decent chances.

But Guillermo Amor's side lacked a cutting edge in the front third - Sergio Cirio started as the Reds' central striker - and when Yasuyuki Konno doubled Gamba's lead in first-half stoppage-time, there was no way back for the hosts.

"I had a good chance in the box and maybe I could have cut back. We score that and we go 1-1 and you just never know how the game can go," Garuccio said.

Gamba Osaka players celebrate after scoring a goal during the AFC Asian Champions League match between Adelaide United and Gamba Osaka at Coopers Stadium on February 22, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia

"That second goal on the stroke of half-time is a killer… it's hard to come back from that.

"The second half was alright but I don't think we created enough quality chances to really be in the game tonight."

The 21-year-old added: "Me personally it took a little bit of adjusting that first 15-20 minutes I was very quiet but once you come into the game but once you find your feet it's enjoyable.

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"It's unbelievable to play against these players, in your career these are the sorts of players you want to be coming up against. It's a great experience for all of us."

Adelaide must turn their attention to Saturday night's A-League clash with Melbourne Victory before they head to China next week to play Jiangsu Suning in the ACL.

Jiangsu defeated Jeju United 1-0 in Group H's other match on Wednesday.

 

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