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ADELAIDE United made some soccer history when it beat Japan's Kashima Antlers 1-0 in the AFC Champions League quarter-final second leg at Hindmarsh Stadium game last night. United have became the first Australian club to progress into the final four of the Champions League. It was a sensational display of attacking football for the full 90 minutes fans and viewers were regaled with numerous shots on goal. The increased tempo of the game showed the shortcomings of quality in A-League players some who were caught short of the mark. As opposed to a critism of Australian football it is a simple statement of fact on the current level of the game at the minute. I find this to be an added entertainment factor for myself as I will thoroughly enjoy the increasing proficiency of the players that will come in the future from these experiences of not always playing in our own backyard.
Adelaide will now play Uzbekistan's Kuruvchi on Wednesday October 8 at Hindmarsh Stadium in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final.
Defender Robert Cornthwaite propelled the Reds to a history making Champions League semi final berth with a headed goal. Following his accidental own goal in the 1-1 drawn game in Japan, the goal in this game has more than balanced the ledger.
AFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTER FINAL SECOND LEG
ADELAIDE UNITED (Robert Cornthwaite 73m) 1
KASHIMA ANTLERS 0.
(Adelaide win 2-1 aggregate) at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Referee: Saad K M Alfadhili (Kuwait)
Crowd: 16,500 (sellout).
Adelaide skipper Travis Dodd has already been put on the recruiting list by the Antlers with the new ruling of the J-League that clubs can recruit an extra player from within the Asian Confereration. Last night Dodd again was a standout on the field with his play and would not have detracted from his quality as a recruit. Australian A-League clubs have salary caps of $1.9 million opposed to the unlimited salary cap that the Japanese clubs can offer. Dodd is expected to be in the $450,000 + bracket if a move is made to recruit him.
Whilst it is still a growing sport in Australia the movement of players to european and asian football clubs is to be expected. The salary cap does prevent the risk of clubs going broke in recruiting sprees. Which has caused problems in other football codes in Australia. Watchers and followers of the 'round ball' code of football are in the unique position at the minute to see the begining of the codes rise to prominence on the Australian Sporting calendar.
When it comes to football in Australia, as the words to the song go; "You ain't seen nothin' yet"
Thankyou for your time and attention, Geoff