Amor applauds Adelaide's desire in Gamba comeback

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Having conceded twice in the opening 12 minutes, the Reds recovered in Japan to keep their ACL Round of 16 hopes alive

Adelaide United coach Guillermo Amor applauded his side's comeback away from home in the AFC Champions League (ACL) after the Reds drew 3-3 with Gamba Osaka.

Amor was impressed with Adelaide's desire to win after they conceded twice in the opening 12 minutes at Suita City Football Stadium, with the undermanned Reds keeping their slim hopes of a Round of 16 berth alive thanks to Baba Diawara's stoppage-time header.

The Senegalese striker was critical to Adelaide's performance as he set up the visitors' first two goals, with Sergio Cirio's effort just before half-time giving Amor's men some hope.

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Jordan O'Doherty then levelled the match with a stunning strike in the 54th minute and despite going behind again thanks to Michael Marrone's 77th-minute own goal, the A-League team recovered to make it three games without loss in the ACL.

"Today was difficult because we conceded the first goal inside five minutes from a corner," Amor said, according to Adelaide's website.

"It's always hard especially away and after we conceded the second goal, which was a very good goal.

"After being 2-0 down the team wants to win and this is very important.

"The team believed today and we achieved [a good result]."

Adelaide have now scored three goals in each of their past three ACL fixtures, which have resulted in two draws and a win.

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The Reds (5 points) can still qualify for the knockout stage with a win over Group H leaders Jiangsu Suning (12), who have already progressed, as long as Jeju United (7) don't beat Gamba (4) on the final group matchday.

Due to a raft of injuries, suspensions and ineligible imports, Adelaide's starting XI included four youngsters with less than 25 senior games to their name - Nikola Mileusnic, O'Doherty, Ben Warland and Mark Ochieng.

Amor highlighted the performances of 20-year-old pair Warland and Ochieng, who stepped into the visitors' back four in Japan.

"It's true that some players couldn't play today in our team, in our defence," the Spanish coach said.

"The players that played today in centre-back or full-back in this case, who don't usually play, were very good."

Adelaide host Jiangsu on May 9.

 

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