Adelaide beat Gamba to top AFC Champions League Group E

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Australia’s Adelaide United went top of Group E in the AFC Champions League with a 2-0 win over Japanese former winners Gamba Osaka in Adelaide on Tuesday.

The Reds, belied their poor A-League form, to follow up their opening 2-1 away win over Bunyodkor in Tashkent, to leave Gamba — who beat Adelaide in the 2008 final — rooted to the bottom of the group.

Defender Daniel Mullen scored both goals in a seven-minute spell to put the Reds in charge of the tie after 24 minutes and inflict Gamba’s first defeat in Australia.

Gamba, under new coach Jose Carlos Serrao, are winless so far this season and languish 16th in the J-League after back-to-back defeats either side of a 3-0 loss to South Korea’s Pohang Steelers in the Champions League.

Mullen headed home in the 18th minute after hitting the bar moments earlier and pounced again when striker Bruce Djite flicked a close-range header at goalkeeper Yosuke Fujigaya.

Fujigaya’s instinctive parry fell at Mullen’s feet and he gratefully tapped the ball into the net.

Adelaide managed to protect their lead for the remainder of the match as Gamba failed to crack the resolute home defence.

Gamba beat Adelaide 5-0 on aggregate to win the 2008 ACL final over two legs.

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