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Apr 18, 2012

Adelaide Utd beat Pohang Steelers 1-0

Striker Bruce Djite headed a last-gasp winner as Adelaide United trumped Pohang Steelers 1-0 in Wednesday night's Asian Champions League (ACL) match.

Djite's 90th minute goal at Hindmarsh Stadium hoisted Adelaide to the top of their group, now near certainties to advance to the next round of the lucrative Asian tournament.

Djite broke a scoring stalemate with an angled header from a speculative Cassio cross just three minutes from fulltime.

Cassio launched a cross as the ball neared out of bounds, and Djite launched into the air and headed into a corner post - the ball falling into the net to delight the parochial 7659-strong Adelaide crowd.

Adelaide kept the Koreans scoreless thanks to a brilliant first half save by goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic.

The Reds captain pre-match told of his desire to make amends for a blunder two weeks ago which gifted Pohang their goal in a 1-0 win against Adelaide in South Korea.

And just 11 minutes in, Galekovic did exactly that with a superb diving one-handed stop of a header from Steelers forward Byung Jun.

Jun was unmarked just metres from goal and his powerful header seemed destined for the net, only for Galekovic to fling himself to his right and thrust a glove in the path of the ball.

After a defensive opening half, both teams showed greater attacking intent in the second stanza with the Steelers blowing a gilt-edged chance just three minutes in.

Dangerous Pohang forward Asamoah blasted a close-range shot into Galekovic and the rebound fell kindly to Zicu, whose reflex right footer sailed high over the cross bar.

Just two minutes later Iain Ramsay found rare space just 10 metres from goal but a sweetly struck left-footer crashed into the body of Steeler goalkeeper Hwa Yong.

The match appeared destined for a draw until Djite's late heroics gave Adelaide a win to take them to nine points - three ahead of second-placed Pohang - with two group games remaining.

Adelaide United's acting coach Luciano Trani praised the resilience of the Reds.

"It's an uplifting performance," Trani said.

"History will always say that Adelaide at home in the Asian Champions League, you never know when the winner will come.

"This sets us up in a very good position to qualify."

Pohang Steelers coach Hwang Sun Hong believed his club could still make the second round despite the loss.

"Of course it feels very sad," he said.

"But we must make sure we play with a purpose in this group stage."

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