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Adelaide United record strong victory against Shandong Luneng

Adelaide United have made it two from two in the Asian Champions League by defeating Chinese outfit Shandong Luneng 2-0 in Jinan. The Reds hit the lead in the first half through loanee striker Sergio van Dijk before teenager Mathew Leckie backed up his goal against Pohang Steelers two weeks ago with a wonderful header to wrap up the match 20 minutes from time.

Asian Champions League - Matchday 2Shandong Luneng: 0 Adelaide United: 2 (Sergio van Dijk 28', Mathew Leckie 70') Venue: Shandong Stadium, Jinan, China

The weather did not do what was expected by snowing and although it was only 7 degrees, it was a fine, sunny day in Jinan.

The opening ten minutes provided just one real chance which fell to the home side but Adelaide goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic was equal to the task, making a reflex save after a snapshot from a tight angle.

Shandong had a lot of possession in the first half-hour but it was mainly due to the fact that the Reds were closing down the Chinese team's space and their tactic worked when Mathew Leckie won the ball in Shandong's half, played it to Marcos Flores who in turn put Lucas Pantelis in and the vice-captain provided a pinpoint cross from the right flank to Sergio van Dijk who nodded home into a vacant net.

With two minutes remaining in the half, Shandong had another good chance when Wang Yongpo whipped in a free-kick to the back post but Galekovic held it safely and the opening 45 minutes ended 1-0 to the visitors.

After the re-start, van Dijk had the chance to make it 2-0 when Adelaide skipper Travis Dodd forced his way into the box before squaring up the Dutchman who got onto his favoured left foot but Shandong gloveman Li Leilei was well-positioned to make a comfortable save.

For the second time, the home side did well on a set piece when Wang Yongpo sent a dead ball in from the right flank but Lebanon international Roda Antar's free header was way off the mark and a big let off for Adelaide.

In the 69th minute, Leilei again saved the day for Shandong when Dodd broke the line of defence, turned his man in the area before teeing it up for Flores who squandered the opportunity as the Chinese keeper made the save.

From the ensuing corner, the Reds took a two-goal lead when young gun Leckie made contact with a powerful header from a Scott Jamieson corner, notching his second goal of the Asian Champions League in just his second outing.

Shandong rallied and toiled hard for a goal in an attempt to get back into the contest but the Australians fought well and picked up another three points to make it a perfect record from their opening two group stage matches.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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