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Amor "happy" despite ACL loss

Soccer

Adelaide United coach Guillermo Amor said the Reds will leave China satisfied despite losing 2-1 to Jiangsu Suning last night in their Group H Asian Champions League match.

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United turned in an impressive performance and managed to avoid an embarrassing defeat, unlike A-League rivals Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney a day earlier.

The Roar were spanked 6-0 by Ulsan Hyundai in South Korea on Tuesday night while the Wanderers were smashed 5-1 by Shanghai SIPG.

Western Sydney also suffered a heavy home defeat in their tournament opener, losing 4-0 to Urawa Red Diamonds, as did the Reds, outclassed in their 3-0 loss to Gamba Osaka in Adelaide.

But against the more fancied Jiangsu, Amor said United produced a spirited display.

“We know that it is a difficult game,” Amor said.

“I’m happy for the performance and the attitude of our players.

“I think we play a very good game and we controlled in a lot of moments and we tried to win.

“Our team, our players, the attitude was fantastic and I’m content for this.”

United started brightly before conceding on the quarter hour when young goalkeeper Daniel Margush spilled a shot from former Chelsea midfielder Ramires.

Fellow Brazilian and man-of-the-match Alex Teixeira was on hand to tap in the rebound before netting his second on 71 minutes – just seconds after United’s Tarek Elrich had a goal controversially ruled out for offside.

The Reds had periods of sustained pressure in both halves and eventually pulled a goal back in injury time thanks to a powerful header from Eli Babalj, in his first appearance in his second stint with Adelaide.

Amor was thrilled his side came out firing after halftime and chased the game, as well the manner in which they attacked one of the contenders for the Chinese Super League.

“I think we played well both halves,” he said.

“It’s true in the second half we go more on attack, we take more risks and this is a good mentality.

“We play every game to win, this is our mentality.”

United will land in Sydney tomorrow ahead of their clash against the Wanderers at Spotless Stadium on Saturday night.

The Reds have won just three matches this A-League campaign and are rooted to the foot of the table, while fellow 2016 finalists, Western Sydney, sit in sixth, two points clear of Newcastle Jets.

 -AAP

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