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Adelaide draw with Bunyodkor in ACL
By Steve Larkin
22:45 AEST Wed Sep 19 2012

Adelaide United were unhinged by Uzbekistan's Bunyodkor in a heated 2-2 draw in Wednesday night's Asian Champions League quarter-final.

The Reds squandered a two goal lead in the first leg of the quarter-final on their home turf at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Adelaide, with goals to Iain Ramsay and Evan Kostopoulos, dominated the Uzbeks early but the tide turned when Reds defender Nigel Boogard was sent off just before halftime.

Bunyodkor scored from the resulting free kick and equalised against a flagging 10-man Adelaide in the second half to bank precious away goals before their return bout in Uzbekistan on October 3.

Ramsay and Kostopoulos scored in the initial 18 minutes as Adelaide took command against a seemingly brittle Bunyodkor.

Ramsay's opportunistic seventh minute strike came after Dario Vidosic mis-timed a shot, the ball rolling across the goal face - Adelaide's left winger pounced and pushed a sliding left-footer into the net.

His 22-year-old teammate Kostopoulos logged his first goal for the Reds in an official match some 11 minutes later when a corner fell at his feet.

Kostopoulos' initial shot was blocked but the ball rebounded to gift him a second chance - and he took it with a swift left boot.

But Bunyodkor's fortunes changed when Adelaide's Boogard was marched in the 42nd minute.

Boogard fell behind in a foot-race with forward Murzoev Kamoliddin as they chased a dangerous Bunyodkor long ball which neared Adelaide's defensive box.

The Reds defender pulled at Kamoliddin's right arm, causing the Bunyodkor attacker to fall.

And from the free kick, defender Anvar Gafurov expertly curled a 25-metre left-footer into the top right corner of the net.

A depleted Adelaide lost their lead in the 75th minute when Shavkat Salomov scored when the ball inexplicably passed through Iain Fyfe's legs on the goal line, allowing the Bunyodkor substitute to goal from less than a metre out.

Adelaide assistant coach Michael Valkanis said Boogard's sending off "changed the complexion of the game".

"We had played extremely good, attacking football and possibly could have had four or five goals," he said.

"It (Boogard's red card) changed our whole game plan."

But Valkanis said the Reds would remain positive heading to the Tashkent for the October 3 second leg.

"It's still on for us going over there ... we have got to try and win the game," he said.

Bunyodkor coach Mirdjalal Kasimov agreed that Boogard's red card was a game-changer.

"The red card was a help for us," he said.

"Of course it is a plus that we scored two goals but it doesn't mean we can relax in Tashkent."


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