Red letter day for football says FFA CEO

Wednesday's historic win by Adelaide United Football Club over the Kashima Antlers of Japan is a red letter day for football in Australia according to Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO, Ben Buckley.

Wednesday's historic win by Adelaide United Football Club over the Kashima Antlers of Japan is a red letter day for football in Australia according to Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO, Ben Buckley.

"Adelaide has become the first Australian team from the Hyundai A-League to make it through to the semi-finals of the Asian Champions League.

"I am sure all football fans throughout Australia are as delighted as I am, and join with all of us at FFA in congratulating Aurelio Vidmar and the players for the magnificent achievement."

Adelaide sealed their defeat over Kashima with a 73rd minute header from Robert Cornthwaite, after holding Kashima to a 1-1 draw last week in Japan.

"Adelaide's progress through this year's Asian Champions League is fantastic for Adelaide and also for the Hyundai A-League and football overall.

"Together with the good progress the Socceroos are making in their Asian qualifying group for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as well as the performance of other national teams, Australia is competing strongly within the Asian Football Confederation.

"It also shows that the Hyundai A-League is a quality competition, and gives all Hyundai A-League teams something to aspire to."

The two teams that compete in the Asian Champions League from the Hyundai A-League are the previous season's home-and-away winners and Grand Final winners.

Adelaide will meet the winner of a match also taking place tonight between domestic league teams from Uzbekistan and Iran with home and away games to take place on 8 and 22 October.

If Adelaide win the semi-final over the two matches, they will play another home-and-away series on 5 and 12 November to decide the Asian Champions for 2008 and stand to share in prizemoney of US$1.0 million.

"Adelaide are leading the way for Hyundai A-League teams in the Asian Champions League, as are there fans.

"The capacity crowd at Hindmarsh Stadium tonight showed what they can do to help a team on the park, and were a sea of red in support of Adelaide," Buckley said.

Adelaide is in action in the Hyundai A-League again this Saturday when they meet Newcastle Jets at Hindmarsh Stadium. Other matches include Melbourne Victory v Queensland Roar at Telstra Dome on Friday, Central Coast v Perth Glory at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday and Wellington Phoenix v Sydney FC at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.