Adelaide United defender Dylan McGowan immediately switched his focus to his side’s trip to Gamba Osaka in a fortnight after the Reds revitalised their AFC Champions League (ACL) campaign on Tuesday.
Adelaide blitzed Jeju United in the second half in South Korea to win 3-1 and ended the night in second position in Group H after Jiangsu Suning defeated Gamba 3-0 in China.
Gamba haven’t registered a point in the ACL since their group opener when they defeated Adelaide 3-0 at Coopers Stadium.
McGowan was well aware of the importance of the Reds’ next ACL fixture away to the J.League club as they look to advance to the knockout Round of 16.
“We go into every game to win it, whether it’s home or away, and now we give ourselves a chance to go to Gamba and if we win it we [stay] second in the group and it gives us a very good chance to qualify,” he said on Fox Sports’ coverage afterwards.
Former Jeju midfielder Kim Jae-sung gave Adelaide the lead at Jeju World Cup Stadium with a powerful 25-yard drive in the seventh minute but the hosts were level soon after through Magno Cruz’s header.
Guillermo Amor’s Adelaide took control early in the second half, however, with McGowan rising at the back post to head Ben Garuccio’s corner past Lee Chang-keun in the 49th minute.
Riley McGree increased the visitors’ lead with a scrambled finish in the 65th minute before captain Eugene Galekovic pulled off a couple of top saves to secure the points for Adelaide.
“It was a very difficult game. Jeju are a very good team, especially here in Korea, and Australian teams have been struggling in the Champions League,” said McGowan, who had notched his third goal in four games in all competitions.
“So it’s good for us to get three points and good for our fans because we are struggling in the A-League but we did really well and hopefully it gives us a chance to progress to the next stage.”
Adelaide sit ahead of Jeju (both 4 points) on head-to-head record, with leaders Jiangsu (12) having become the first club to secure a spot in this year’s knockout stages, while Gamba (3) are last in Group H.