Reds progress after draw

Adelaide United and Pohang Steelers have progressed to the round of 16 in the AFC Champions League after sharing the points on match day five in a 0-0 draw.

Adelaide United and Pohang Steelers have progressed to the round of 16 in the AFC Champions League after sharing the points on match day five in a 0-0 draw.

The Reds also extended their unbeaten run against Pohang at The Steelyard.

Adelaide was fortunate to come away with anything at all against the reigning champion after inaccurate shooting from Pohang kept the Reds in the match.

United’s goal was under threat from the opening minute as Almir and Mota caused the Reds all sorts of problems.

Only poor finishing ensured the scores remained 0-0 at the break, with Pohang wasteful in front of goal. The Steelers racked up 10 shots on goal by half-time to the Reds solitary strike.

Cassio was given his first start in the ACL for United replacing Matthew Leckie on the left while Nigel Boogaard, as expected, filled the void left by the suspended Iain Fyfe.

The Steelers continually linked up well in the front third with sweet one-two passing creating space and goal scoring opportunities.

Early in the first half Almir thread the ball through for Mota who raced onto the pass but found himself on a tight angle.

Eugene Galekovic came out and closed down the angle as the Brazilian shot straight into the A-League Keeper of the Year’s foot.

Kim Tae-Su also went close blasting wide from 15m. The K-League side teed up Tae-Su after some slick movement on the edge of the area.

Almir had a couple of chances also, but the Brazilian’s radar was off. He shaved the bar from 25m with a rasping shot that had Galekovic scrambling.

On the half hour mark Pohang had claims for a penalty when the dangerous Brazilians combined again.

Almir thread a through ball looking for Mota. The foot race ended when Galekovic raced off his line and met the Pohang striker just inside the box.

Mota’s touch took the ball past the on-rushing keeper and the Brazilian went flying as Galekovic through his hands in the air in protest.

The referee waved play on but failed to show the Brazilian a card for simulation. Replays proved it was the correct decision in not awarding the penalty.

United struggled in the front third with Sergio van Dijk receiving little service and when he did, the Dutchman wasn’t on the end of the crosses and looked sluggish.

Lucas Pantelis was booked late in the first half meaning he will miss the match at Hindmarsh against Shandong Luneng on match day six, after collecting two yellow cards in the group phase.

The Reds started the better in the second half but still looked vulnerable at the back. If not for some more wayward shooting, Pohang could easily have found the net on more than one occasion.

Minutes into the second stanza, Marcos Flores collected the ball on the half way line and carried it to the penalty box, taking too long to release the pass with plenty of options on offer.

In the 53rd minute Tae-Sun scuffed another attempt after being set up in similar fashion to the first half.

His curling shot coming off the side of his boot going wide after a lovely touch to set him up from Mota.

Four minutes later Almir headed over the bar, getting a lovely flick on from Mota after a teasing free kick was whipped into the box.

On the hour mark, a forceful run from Cassio ended with the pocket rocket’s shot inviting van Dijk at the back post but again the United striker was too late in arriving.

Almir was in the thick of things again moments later, entertaining the crowd with an over head bicycle kick from 9m.

The timid shot was fired directly at Galekovic.

Leckie was brought on to replace Captain Travis Dodd on the hour mark in a bid to add some spark for United in a 30 minute cameo.

With 12 minutes remaining Hyungmin Shin almost broke the deadlock after a well worked short corner.

Shin took the ball with one touch and cracked it with his second hitting the post from 20m.

The shot took a deflection and after rebounding off the post, United broke away.

Daniel Mullen raced away before being brought down in a cynical challenge by Jung Kyum who received a yellow card for his tackle.

Mullen needed treatment and left the field temporarily before returning and receiving his own yellow card.

The strong defender lashed out in frustration and will also miss the class with Shandong on match day six after collecting his second card of the tournament.

Almir had another good chance in the final minutes taking the ball in his stride and striking with his left foot from 9m. Galekovic got down well and saved again from the Brazilian.

Mota very nearly won the game for Pohang but missed his chance in injury time.

The striker again shot straight at Galekovic who completed a routine save.