Preview: Adelaide v Kashima
Adelaide United surprised everyone with its performance in the first leg of the quarter finals, can they progress to the semis?
Adelaide United v Kashima Antlers
Date: Wednesday, September 24 Kick-off: 7.30pm local (8pm AEST) Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium TV coverage: Fox Sports 1 (Live)
Previous results: Pohang Steelers 0 Adelaide United 2, Pohang Steelyard, March 12, 2008 Adelaide United 0 Changchun Yatai 0, Hindmarsh Stadium, March 19, 2008 Binh Duong 1 Adelaide United 2, Binh Duong Stadium, April 9 2008 Adelaide United 4 Binh Duong 1, Hindmarsh Stadium, April 23, 2008 Adelaide United 1 Pohang Steelers 0, Hindmarsh Stadium, May 7, 2008 Changchun Yatai 0 Adelaide United 0, Changchun City Stadium, May 22, 2008 Kashima Antlers 1 Adelaide United 1, Kashima City Stadium, September 17, 2008
Krung Thai Bank 1 Kashima Antlers 9, Chulalongkorn University Stadium, March 12, 2008 Kashima Antlers 6 Nam Dinh 0, Kashima City Stadium, March 19, 2008 Kashima Antlers 1 Beijing Guoan 0, Kashima City Stadium, April 9, 2008 Beijing Guoan 1, Kashima Antlers 0, Feng Tai Stadium, April 23, 2008 Kashima Antlers 8 Krung Thai Bank 1, Kashima City Stadium, May 7, 2008 Nam Dinh 0, Kashima Antlers 4, My Dinh Stadium, May 21, 2008 Kashima Antlers 1 Adelaide United 1, Kashima City Stadium, September 17, 2008
Analysis Adelaide United surprised everyone with its spirited performance in the first leg of the quarter finals and on reflection were unlucky not to leave Japan with an important win.
The Reds matched their more fancied opponent across the pitch and were more proactive than the Antlers, especially in the first half.
The South Australian team now needs a win or a 0-0 draw to progress to the semi-final stage.
United enter the clash having been thrashed 3-0 by Sydney FC on Saturday but that game shouldn't be analysed too much considering eight first-choice players were rested.
The break should do them good but have they had enough time to bounce back? The pictures of the squad sleeping on hotel floors in Sydney at the weekend suggest the travel has hit the players hard.
Lucas Pantelis set up Travis Dodd for the Reds' goal in last week's game but he'll be in the stands on Wednesday as he recovers from a groin injury.
Expect Scott Jamieson, who's been used in defence so far this season, to move into the midfield while Jason Spagnuolo might get increased game time thanks to Pantelis' setback.
Pantelis is a loss for the Reds but the knee injury to Antlers captain Mitsuo Ogasawara is an even bigger blow for the opposition. He's a highly rated player and was the go-to man in the first leg of the quarter-final. Toru Araiba will also miss with an injury.
It will be up to Marquinhos to make an impact with the Brazilian well overdue for a goal considering he-s scored 17 times in 20 games in the J-League.
Kashima would've been disappointed with its efforts against Adelaide and that it could only record a 1-1 draw with lowly Kashiwa Reysol in the J-League at the weekend. Earlier this week, Adelaide defender Sasa Ognenovski criticized them for taking their shots on goal too far out so expect them to be more patient as they try and weave their way through United's defence.
The quarter final encounters should prove a welcome challenge for the Japanese side which is at its best when it displays an attacking mindset.
And this will be made easier if Adelaide withdraws into its shell and defends.