Reds to face Chinese outfit in ACL playoff

Adelaide United will host Chinese club Shandong Luneng Taishan in a one-off tie for a place in the 2016 AFC Champions League.

Shandong Luneng set up the clash with a thumping 6-0 win over Indian club Mohun Bagan on Tuesday night. 

Shandong is one of China’s most successful football clubs and finished their 2015 domestic campaign in third position, whilst winning the Chinese FA Super Cup on penalties. 

United have faced Shandong four times previously, first in the 2007 ACL Group Stages and later in the 2010 ACL Group Stages, winning one, drawing one, and losing two of these fixtures. 

Reds Captain, Eugene Galekovic, said he and his teammates are looking forward to the challenge of facing one of China’s biggest clubs and are confident of beating Shandong to progress to the 2016 ACL Group Stages. 

“We half-expected to play Shandong, but of course nothing is certain in football,” Galekovic said. 

“They’re one of the largest clubs not only in China, but also Asia, and we know they’re going to give us a very tough game.

“With a big crowd behind us that’s full of voice, though, we can make Hindmarsh an intimidating place to come and that will play a big part in how we go in the match. 

“But we’re not scared of them and we know that we can beat anyone on our day, so we’re going into this play-off match against them at Hindmarsh confident of getting the result we need to qualify for the Group Stages.”

Adelaide United will face Shandong Luneng Taishan in the AFC Champions League Play-Off on Tuesday, 9 February at Hindmarsh Stadium.