Adelaide Utd relish Gamba Osaka rematch

December 11, 2008
By Liam FitzGibbon

Adelaide United coach Aurelio Vidmar says his side are relishing the opportunity to take on their Asian Champions League conquerors Gamba Osaka in Toyota on Sunday.

United came from behind to beat New Zealand side Waitakere United 2-1 in the Club World Cup in Tokyo on Thursday and now face Gamba in front of a sell-out crowd for the chance to meet Manchester United in the semi-finals.

Vidmar said he was pleased to get past the Oceania champions and admitted it had been difficult for his players to focus on the clash with most of the attention being on a quarter-final rematch with the J-League side.

"Everyone was saying we would beat Waitakere and the talk was about meeting Gamba again and we had to ensure that the players were in the right frame of mind," Vidmar told AAP.

"There are no easy games at this level and they were a well-drilled side who came to stop us playing and we showed a lot of character to come away with the win after going behind."

Despite having been beaten 5-0 over two legs by Gamba in the Asian Champions League final last month, Vidmar has banned his players from talking about revenge.

"I don't like the word revenge it is a nasty word and there is nothing to be nasty about when it comes to Gamba," he said.

"They are a very good side and we have a great deal of respect for them and know we need to match them if we are to stand any chance of beating them."

Vidmar is aware his side face a huge test in front of a partisan home crowd and said his players have learnt plenty of lessons from the Champions League defeat.

"We gave them too much space and they really hurt us so we have to make sure we dictate the game on our terms and try and silence the crowd," he said.