Adelaide Unitedâ€™s Asian Champions League head coach Joe Mullen said the club was happy to retain top spot in Group H despite a loss last night.
The Reds went down 1-0 to Chinese club Shandong Luneng but were done a favour by Sanfrecce Hiroshima who defeated Gorup Hâ€™s second-placed Pohang Steelers 4-3 in Japan to allow them to finish top and get a home Round of 16 clash.
Mullen admitted last nightâ€™s loss was disappointing but said it was just reward for the players who toiled for six group stage matches to end up on top.
"The result is disappointing on the night, but the good thing to come out of the night is we finished top still," he said.
"We lost the game, which is the bitter bit about tonight, but the positive is over six games we finished top of the group and it gives us a home final on May 12, that is the good thing.
"It was a game that I thought we dominated really, but it's a game where you need to score goals, especially in this league. We didn't do that and we lost the game," he added.
"They did hit us on the break. We had the momentum and in the first-half, I think they only had one chance on goal. Although we conceded we still had plenty of time after that but we just couldn't capitalise."