Adelaide United’s Asian Champions League dream has come to an end at the hands of Chinese outfit Jiangsu FC.

The Group H winners handed the Reds a 1-0 loss at Hindmarsh Stadium on Tuesday night in front of 6, 797 fans, ensuring Adelaide ends their 2016/17 campaign without silverware.

Jiang Hao’s excellent long drive in the 81st minute put to bed Adelaide’s continental tilt, although the other results required for the Reds to qualify for the knockout stage didn’t fall into place regardless.

It was an unjust result for the home side with United dominated every facet of play. But football is a funny game and Jiangsu’s resolute defending, Jiang Hao’s stellar performance in goal, and just one opportunity to score was a cocktail poisonous enough to kill off the South Australian side’s campaign.

Adelaide United went into the clash needing a win and relying on Gamba Osaka to draw or win against Jeju United in Korea to find a spot in the knockout stage of the tournament. An aggressive, albeit goalless, first half at Hindmarsh kept the Red’s hopes alive, but the final third falters that plagued its season returned with gusto.

The Reds dominated the first half but were unable to find the opening goal. The attacking nature was most evident after half an hour, when three mouth-watering chances went begging in the space of three minutes. In the 33rd minute Nikola Mileusnic headed just wide of the post, in the 34th Sergio Cirio hit a short-range volley wide and in the 35th Babacar Diawara belted his drive just the west of the goal.

It was a similar story in the second half with Diawara hitting the post and a number of excellent moves forward capped with woeful finishing. In the end the result didn’t matter as Jeju beat gamba Osaka 2-0 to seal qualification. The match ultimately summarising a frustrating and woeful summer of football for Adelaide United.

From the group Jiangsu and Jeju progress to the knockout stage, while the Adelaide squad will enter an off-season that is predicted to the punctuated by personnel change.

Jiangsu FC: 1 (81’ Ji Xiang)
Adelaide United FC: 0

Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium
Attendance: 6, 797

Referee:  Mohammed Abdulla Hassan
Assistant Referees:  Mohamed Ahmed Alhammadi, Hasan Mohamed Almahri
Fourth Official: Pechsri Mongkolchai

Adelaide United FC: 1. GALEKOVIC, Eugene, 2. MARRONE, Michael, 4. McGOWAN, Dylan, 5. REGAN, Taylor, 7. JAESUNG, Kim, 8. ISAIAS, 9. DIAWARA, Papa Babacar, 11. CIRIO, Sergio, 12. OCHIENG, Mark (85’ Ben Warland), 17. MILEUSNIC, Nikola (75’ Eli Babalj), 18. McGREE, Riley (90+3’ Lachlan Brook)

Substitutes: 13. MARINO, Marc, 14. MELLS, George, 15. WARLAND, Benjamin, 22. KITTO, Ryan, 26. BROOK, Lachlan, 30. MARGUSH, Daniel, 92. BABALJ, Eli

JIANGSU FC: 5. ZHOU, Yun, 8. LUI, Jianye, 11. XIE, Pengfei, 12. ZHANG, Xiaobin 16. GAO, Tianyi, 24. JI, Ziang (90+2’ Ge Wei), 25. JIANG, Hao, 27. YANG, Jiawei, 28. YANG, Xiaotian, 29. CHEN, Ji (71’ Gu Wenxiang), 39. YANG, Boyu

Substitutes: 2. LI, Ang, 18. LIU, Wei, 23. LI, Haitao, 33. GU, Wenxiang, 40. GE, Wei

 

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