Adelaide, Jeju in crazy ACL showing

Adelaide United and Korean club Jeju United have shared the points in a three-all encounter at Hindmarsh Stadium in Wednesday night’s Asian Champions League group H clash, with all six goals coming in an outrageous second half.

Only 3,539 fans were present for one of the great halves of Asian football in recent memory, in which both teams came back from behind.

The glut began when Adelaide was gifted a penalty on 50 minutes, after Jeju captain Oh Bansuk was charged with handling the ball in the box. Bansuk was in the way of a bullet-like drive and had no time to react. As he turned his body away the ball clattered into his posterior. To the surprise of everyone Qatari referee Mohammed Al Marri pointed to the spot, from whence Baba Diawara was able to convert.

However Adelaide’s fortuitous lead was not to last when impact sub Frederic Mendy levelled things on 61 minutes. The ball had been flung in and out of Adelaide’s box before Mendy found it at his feet, turned and passed in his goal via the far post.

The equaliser gave the Korean side renewed enthusiasm, and suddenly Adelaide’s resolute back four was found wanting on several occasions. Unfortunately for the Reds it was one time too many, and a glorious Marcelo Toscana rocket found the top corner of Eugene Galekovic’s net on 70 minutes. Toscana had been fed the ball by Hwang Ilsu at the edge of the area and smashed his first touch past Adelaide’s keeper from the edge of the box. No keeper in the world would have saved it.

Adelaide’s colt midfielder Sergio Cirio wasn’t having a bar of the new deficit though, and when Ben Garrucio’s precise cross found him unmarked in the box he had no problems nodding it in from close range just three minutes later.

But according to the two sides, two-all simply wasn’t exciting enough. Jeju’s Kwon Soonhyung certainly didn’t think so when he smashed a low drive from 25 yards out to score what seemed to be a delightful winning goal on 84 minutes.

A winning goal it was not, though, when this match twisted for one final time for substitute Mark Ochieng. With the ball at his feet following Jordan O’Doherty’s post-hitting effort, Ochieng decided to chip to the far post and found the cobwebs in the top left corner on 85 minutes.

Exhausting? You bet. Exciting? No word in the English language could do a better job of describing the second half spectacle that Adelaide United and Jeju United put on for their ACL fans.

The draw leaves Adelaide at the bottom of the group with just a point, and with a result in each column, Jeju have four. Adelaide United will continue its disastrous A-League campaign on Sunday against Brisbane Roar at home.

Adelaide United FC: 3  (50’ (p) Diawara, 73’ Cirio, 85’ Ochieng)
Jeju United FC:  3 (61’ Mendy, 70’ Marcelo, 84’ Soonhyung)

Hindmarsh Stadium
Attendance: 3, 539

Referee: Khamis Mohammed Al Marri (Qatar)
Assistant Referees: Mohammad Jaber Dharman (Qatar), Mohamad Mu Azi Zainal Abidin (Malaysia)
Fourth Official: Nagor Ami Noor Mohamed (Malaysia)

Adelaide United FC: 1. GALEKOVIC, Eugene, 4. McGOWAN, Dylan, 5. REGAN, Taylor, 7. JAESUNG, Kim, 9. DIAWARA, Papa Babacar (88’ Eli Babalj), 11. CIRIO, Sergio, 17. MILEUSNIC, Nikola (81’ Mark Ochieng), 18. McGREE, Riley, 19. GARUCCIO, Benjamin, 21. ELRICH, Tarek, 24. O’DOHERTY, Jordan
Subtitutes: 12. OCHIENG, Mark, 13. MARINO, Marc, 14. MELLS, George, 15. WARLAND, Benjamin, 16. MAKAROUNAS, Jesse, 30. MARGUSH, Daniel, 92. BABALJ, Eli

Jeju United FC: 3. DONGGYU, Baek, 4. BANSUK, Oh, 6. JIN PO, Park (82’ Aleksander Jovanovic), 7.. SOONHYUNG, Jin, 9. SEONGUK, Jin (54’ Frederic Mendy) 10. TOSCANO, Marcelo (76’ Ahn Hyunbeom), 11. ILSU, Hwang, 13. WOON, Chung, 14. CHANGMIN, Lee, 21. CHANGGEUN, Lee, 37. WONIL, Kim
Substitutes: 8. JOVANOVIC, Aleksander, 17. HYUNBEON, Ahn, 25. KIHYUN, Lee, 30. HYEONUG, Kim, 32. YONGHYUN, Kwon, 44. JOONHYUB, Jwa, 88. MENDY, Frederic

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