Thursday, 8 May 2008

Hats off to Aurelio Vidmar

Adelaide United beat Pohang Steelers 1-0 in the Asian Champions League last night.
Pohang rested many senior players so Adelaide were supposed to win easy. They didn't.

In fact United clung to a defensive back nine at times that saw them look more like the away side.

Coach Aurelio Vidmar showed patience, a desire to win very ugly and it worked. Could they have won any other way? On the display of Pohang probably not.

Although once the young Coach switched to two forwards after the hour mark, Adelaide started to threaten much more. And that was where the goal came.

And maybe that is what is making Vidmar start to look like a real coach. The ability to read the play, change the game. He did both when it would have been easy to look at the Pohang teamsheet and just go for it at home.

After 60 minutes the previously ineffective Kristian Sarkies switched into striker role and held the ball up for the on coming Diego.

Diego used an offside Nathan Burns to screen the ball into the net. The Ref like the goalie saw nothing and the game was won.

Diego misses the last game through suspension. And won't he be missed.

Are Adelaide through? Most unlikely. They have to draw in Changchun and without any real forward line they will struggle.

Lucas Pantelis was woeful at left-back, Sasho Ognenovski hit long and often. Kristian Sarkies, apart from the goal, offered nothing in attack.

Nathan Burns sparkled but lack much support.

Fabian Barbiosa struggled to contain the flowing Koreans.

And Robbie Cornthwaite looked determined to join Diego and miss the next game. He survived.

The Koreans side pushed and chased high up the park, and with a little forward inventiveness could have won the game comfortably.

Adelaide seemed second best all night. Lacking energy. And due to Vidmar's defensive layout they lacked any forward menace.

And then Vidmar made the switch and the game was won. The result gives Adelaide a great chance to go through, it's just a pity the last game is away to the best side in the group.

For Adelaide, no Bruce Djite, no Cassio, no Diego. Can they go through? Well it would be unlikely despite this win.

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