Adelaide United have become the first Australian side to defeat Japanese powerhouse Gamba Osaka following their victory in the AFC Champions League clash at Hindmarsh Stadium Tuesday night.
Adelaide United have become the first Australian side to defeat Japanese powerhouse Gamba Osaka following their 2-0 victory in the AFC Champions League clash at Hindmarsh Stadium Tuesday night.
A first-half brace to unlikely source, defender Daniel Mullen ensured the Reds broke Gamba's long standing record against Australian opposition and created history.
Mullen put Adelaide ahead on 17 minutes with a close range header after his first rocketed off the bar.
The 22-year-old then capped off a classy performance at fullback with another close finish four minutes later.
The win lifts Adelaide temporarily into first spot in Group E on six points with Pohang Steelers and Bunyodkor to play later Tuesday night, while Gamba is rooted to the bottom without a win.
In the first half each side took their time to venture forward and threaten one another's goal.
Gamba played high up the park while Adelaide sat back and looked to press when opportunities arose.
The first of the match came on 11 minutes when Reds marquee star Dario Vidosic stung the fingertips of Gamba custodian Fujigaya with a thunderous drive from just inside the area.
Adelaide sustained pressure on Gamba following their opening chance and eventually broke the deadlock in the 17th minute when Mullen fired home from six yards.
Vidosic whipped in a dangerous free-kick that an unmarked Mullen first headed into the cross bar only for the ball to fall kindly for Reds centreback Nigel Boogaard who headed back across goal for the Olyroo defender to make no mistake with his second chance.
Gamba replied to the breakthrough four minutes later when Lee Seung-Yeol paced his way into the right side of Adelaide's box only for his well-timed left-foot shot to be tipped over the bar by a diving United captain Eugene Galekovic.
Adelaide snatched a second though on 24 minutes when Mullen again popped at the right time and place.
A second pinpoint Vidosic set-piece found Bruce Djite but he drilled his header straight at Fujigaya as Mullen pounced and volleyed in the rebound.
Djite had a chance to increase United's lead in the 32nd minute after he turned and rounded Gamba stopper Konno, but the Japanese representative recovered with a sliding tackle to disrupt the Reds striker as he fired wide.
Yeol tested Galekovic with an instant reply a minute later but a full stretched save from the Reds gloveman denied the Korean attacker once more.
The first opportunity of the restart came in the 57th minute through Vidosic as the game began to drift into a static state.
The Qantas Socceroo streamed into the box after skipping past numerous Gamba players and eventually cut-back on his left for a clear shot on goal, only to be denied by a last ditch tackle from Nakazawa Sota.
Chances dried up late although Brazilian forward Rafinha had an opportunity six minutes from time after some fancy footwork around Adelaide's area, but he blasted his curling strike just over.
Adelaide United 2 (Mullen 17, 24) Gamba Osaka 0 5,112 at Hindmarsh Stadium