Adelaide on the rise

Adelaide United assistant coach Luciano Trani said opening with back-to-back wins in the AFC Champions League has given the Reds a chance to salvage something from an otherwise disappointing season.

Adelaide United assistant coach Luciano Trani said opening with back-to-back wins in the AFC Champions League has given the Reds a chance to salvage something from an otherwise disappointing season.

Despite having a series of openings to find some way into the Hyundai A-League's top six, Adelaide never capitalised and continued to find themselves at the foot of the table.

The Reds languish in ninth and run the risk of collecting the wooden spoon for the second time if they lose and cellar dwellers Gold Coast manage to win in the final round of the domestic campaign.

But while results have gone awry domestically Adelaide have enjoyed maximum points from their opening two games in the ACL to sit atop Group E.

The Reds ground out a 2-1 victory away to Uzbekistan champions Bunyodkor two weeks ago before toppling Japanese giants Gamba Osaka 2-0 at home on Tuesday night to become the first Australian side to beat the 2008 ACL champions.

Speaking upon making history, Reds acting coach Trani - in his second game in charge of the team in place of the unlicensed John Kosmina - said the victory showed the team could achieve anything.

"Tuesday night was a chance for the players to make up for what has been a poor season in the A-League," Trani said.

"We've just seen that if the outcomes in terms of our discipline are there, anything can be achieved."

"It's like everything - if you are organised from the start you are always going to give yourself a chance of being competitive."

Adelaide saw off Gamba comfortably courtesy of a first half brace to Daniel Mullen, who became the third defender to have scored for the Reds in the ACL following defensive pair Nigel Boogaard and Antony Golec's efforts in the win over Bunyodkor.

With both of Mullen's goals coming from well worked set-piece plays, Trani admitted dead-ball opportunities are an area of the Reds' game that could be utilised to exploit the lack of height within the ACL.

"Now we've taken our chances with refining our set plays, they're obviously making a huge difference in some of our games, so we'll continue to develop that and hope it continues on in the ACL," Trani said.

"If we can become even better in those set plays it will give us a huge advantage going forward."

Gamba Osaka coach Jose Carlos Serrao, who joined the Japanese outfit in the off-season, has now overseen four consecutive losses in the J-League and ACL.

The Brazilian was left to bemoan his side's defensive lapses.

"It is a very bad result. It is now four losses in a row and we are still making mistakes - we are losing to ourselves," Serrao said.

"We need to work hard to get better and change our players' mentality on how to defend because we are making very easy mistakes and allowing openings for our opponents to score."