Dodd heads Adelaide through

Adelaide United captain Travis Dodd has once again come up trumps for his team, heading home the winning goal against Oceania Champions Waitakere United at the FIFA Club World Cup at the National Stadium in Tokyo.

Adelaide United captain Travis Dodd has once again come up trumps for his team, heading home the winning goal against Oceania Champions Waitakere United at the FIFA Club World Cup at the National Stadium in Tokyo.

With the scores locked at 1-1 and the match into the last ten minutes, Dodd met Paul Reid-s exquisite free kick and he glanced his header inside the far post.

The 2-1 win now sees Adelaide move into the quarter finals on Sunday night and sets up a rematch of the AFC Champions League Final against Japanese side Gamba Osaka. The winner of that match will go onto meet Manchester United in the semi finals.

The relief was evident when Dodd-s goal went in and also at the full time whistle, with Adelaide generally struggling to break down the tight Waitakere defence.

Most of Adelaide-s best chances came from set pieces, which included a staggering 19 to 3 corner count in The Reds favour.

Asked if he was relieved at the end of the match, Aurelio Vidmar said, “Yes you could say that.

“We knew it would be a difficult game and they played very well; defending in numbers behind the ball.

“But we kept our composure and got the right result at the end.”

Adelaide went into the match minus key players Brazilian pair Cassio and Diego Walsh plus defender Saso Ognenovski and while the first half was dominated by Adelaide, it was clear they missed the creativity of both Brazilians.

The first meaningful shot at goal didn-t arrive until the 12th minute, when some brilliant one-touch interplay in the middle of the park saw Jason Spagnuolo get a sight on goal. The midfielder hit his shot sweetly enough, forcing a full stretch save by Waitakere keeper Richard Gillespie.

Most of Adelaide-s best chances were coming from set pieces, with Kristian Sarkies hitting a free kick straight at Gillespie and then a minute later Scott Jamieson hit a stinging shot that Gillespie turned around the near post.

But as so often happens when the dominant team doesn-t take it chances, one mistake can cost you and that-s what happened to Adelaide in the 34th minute. A free kick played to the six yard box should have been gathered by goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic, but under pressure from Paul Seaman he spilled the ball at the midfielder-s feet and he turned and shot home into the empty net.

That goal seemed to spark Adelaide to life and after a series of corners; they finally made one count in the 39th minute. Paul Reid-s cross to the far post found an unmarked Daniel Mullen and he superbly powered his header home.

Galekovic had another scare in first half injury time when he failed to gather another free kick, the ball bouncing off Waitakere captain Neil Emblen and luckily for Galekovic it went over the bar.

It was much the same scenario in the second half with Adelaide continuing to dominate for much of the half and winning an abundance of corners.

In the 54th minute, again some short passing around the edge of the box, saw a desperate clearance rebound to Fabian Barbiero, but he hit his shot straight at Gillespie.

Mullen almost had a second goal after 76 minutes, this time his header was guided across the face of goal.

Three minutes later the ever impressive Scott Jamieson, who was probably Adelaide-s best player on the night, saw a 25 metre free kick curl inches wide of the far post.

Adelaide-s patience and dominance was finally rewarded however in the 83rd minute and it was Reid-s perfect delivery to Dodd, who angled run towards the near post saw him get a metre free and he made no mistake with his perfect executed finish.

With Waitakere pushing men forward, Cristiano, who otherwise had a very quiet night, could have sealed the win in the dying minutes, but his shot was brilliantly saved by Gillespie at full stretch.

Vidmar revealed after the match that Cassio and Ognenovski should be right to play against Gamba, but Diego is only a 50/50 proposition at this stage.

Match Details

Adelaide United 2 (Daniel Mullen 39-, Travis Dodd 83-) Waitakere United (NZ) 1 (Paul Seaman 34-)

Adelaide line-up: Eugene Galekovic (gk); Robert Cornthwaite, Angelo Costanzo, Kristian Sarkies (Robert Younis 70-), Cristiano, Travis Dodd (C), Scott Jamieson, Daniel Mullen, Fabian Barbiero, Jason Spagnuolo (Alemao 57-), Paul Reid

Cautions: Barbiero (26-)