Adelaide United coach Gui Amor believes a lack of luck in the key moments was the difference after their spirited 2-1 defeat to Chinese outfit Jiangsu Suning in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday night.
The Reds were beaten in China after two goals from Brazilian superstar Alex Teixeira, before substitute Eli Babalj pulled one back late on.
While it’s now back-to-back defeats in the ACL for Adelaide, their performance against Jiangsu was a vast improvement on their opening game defeat to Gamba Osaka a week ago.
They defended resolutely throughout to trail just 1-0 at the break, with the game swinging in the home side’s favour in the space of a couple of crazy minutes midway through the second half.
It seemed like the Reds had drawn level when Tarek Elrich found the net, only for the goal to be disallowed for a marginal offside call.
Then just seconds later Jiangsu sprung forward as Teixeira doubled the lead to put the result beyond Adelaide’s reach.
“We improved, we’re growing. This is our job, our profession, we love this sport,” Amor said on Fox Sports post-match.
“We played well today, we deserved in the moments maybe a little luck. But we are content, happy with the team, with the group.
“We lost it’s true, but we go home with a good sensation.”
Adelaide’s next ACL challenge comes with a home clash against Korean side Jeju United on Wednesday, March 15.
They next face fellow ACL outfit Wanderers in the Hyundai A-League this weekend in Round 22 action.