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Adelaide United's dramatic draw keep ACL hopes alive

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Adelaide United will need to beat Group H winner Jiangsu Suning at Hindmarsh Stadium on the final match day of the Asian Champions League if they are to advance to the knockout stage of the competition.

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The Reds will also be hoping Gamba Osaka do them a favour and knock off Jeju United in Korea following the results from Match Day 5.

United twice came from behind to draw 3-3 with Gamba and temporarily move to second in the group, but Jeju’s 2-1 win over Jiangsu in China shortly after saw the Reds drop to third, two points behind the Koreans.

Reds coach Guillermo Amor spoke after the clash in Japan, while Jeju was still in action against Jiangsu, and acknowledged the draw was handy but Adelaide’s fate largely rested with the outcome in China.

Now, nothing but a win against Chinese outfit Jiangsu in Adelaide on May 9 will do.

“It depends on the result of Jeju in China; they are playing now,” Amor said.

“We don’t know the (final) result now but it’s possible.”

“We have possibilities and the last game is at home against Jiangsu which is good for us.

“We arrive at the last game with possibilities.”

The Reds boss was ultimately satisfied with United’s performance against Gamba, despite hoping to leave Japan with more than just one point.

Amor also had to make do with a makeshift back four with starting stoppers Dylan McGowan and Taylor Regan missing through suspension, as was gun young midfielder Riley McGree.

“We played a good game today here in Japan against a good team,” Amor said.

“The result is not bad; we prefer always to win because two more points in this moment is very important for us.

“I’m content because our team played well and (they) fight and compete well.”

Amor applauded Adelaide’s fight back after conceding two goals inside the opening 12 minutes, before eventually levelling the scores before the hour.

United then came from behind a second time when Baba Diawara’s 92nd minute header rescued a point for the visitors.

Amor said the Reds’ desire to claw its way back into the contest and ultimately the Asian Champions League knockout stage calculations was crucial.

“Today was difficult because in the first minutes we received one or two goals,” he said.

“And after with 2-0 (down) the team wants to win.

“For me this is very important – they never give up.”

– AAP

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