Robbie turns week around

The changing fortunes of Adelaide United's Robbie Cornthwaite highlight a week really is a long time in football.

The changing fortunes of Adelaide United's Robbie Cornthwaite highlight a week really is a long time in football.

Last week, a deflection off Cornthwaite's boot resulted in an own goal and kept the Kashima Antlers in the first leg of the quarter final.

Seven days later, the 22-year-old brought an end to the Japanese side's AFC Champions League campaign with a match-winning header at Hindmarsh Stadium on Wednesday.

The 73rd-minute deflection beat the Kashima goalkeeper to hand the Reds a 1-0 victory.

With a semi-final berth secured, Cornthwaite allowed himself to see the lighter side of his gaff in the away leg, according to his coach Aurelio Vidmar.

"He said to me tonight 'That was a better finish tonight with a little bit of help from the goalkeeper'," Vidmar said.

Vidmar added the 197-centimetre player should be commended for his perseverance and his ability to learn from mistakes.

"You have to take your hat off to Robbie. Even with last week's own goal he still showed the endeavour to continue to play as hard as he possibly could and tonight, with almost everyone on their knees, and he's still forcing his way into the box to get at the end of a cross," he said.

"So that's just total commitment and that's what we asked for ... total passion, total commitment."

Cornthwaite was not the only player driven to succeed with some of his team-mates looking to bounce back after the side's 3-0 loss to Sydney FC last weekend.

Vidmar said the team had returned to training on Monday with a positive mindset and the victory on Wednesday was the result of good preparation.

The team was also urged to produce a performance that would make the competition sit up and take notice.

"There was a bit of a catch-cry at the beginning of the game that I put on the board 'Let's shock Asia' and I think certainly tonight we've done that," he said.

"For a club team in this competition to get to the semi-final stage is an incredible achievement."

"The players to everyone at the club, the owners I'm sure will be ecstatic, (as will) the fans."

"We are representing the country, it's a first, who knows if it's ever going to be matched?"

Vidmar was pleased with the entire team's efforts with the players completing four games in 13 days. But he was particularly happy with United's defensive line-up which has been consistently miserly.

"Our back four throughout the whole campaign, it doesn't matter who's in there, it's been very, very good. I think that's eight games, four goals that's very, very good," he said.

"And again Eugene (Galekovic) is at the top of that because he was fantastic again ... he made a crucial save."