Adelaide qualifies for Asian Champions League
Adelaide United earned a spot in this year’s Asian Champions
League on Thursday by beating Indonesian club Persipura Jayapura
3-0 in a qualifier ordered by the Court of Arbitration for
Defender Nigel Boogaard, Ukrainian midfielder Evgeniy Levchenko
and Dutch-born striker Sergio van Dijk scored at Hindmarsh Stadium
for the A-League side.
Adelaide was initially given a direct passage into the Champions
League main draw after Persipura was ruled ineligible because it
plays in the unsanctioned Indonesian Super League.
The club appealed to CAS, however, and was provisionally
reinstated earlier this month.
The Indonesian Super League was the country’s top-tier
competition until it was replaced by the Indonesian Premier League
last year by the country’s football federation (PSSI).
Persipura has declined invitations to join the PSSI-sanctioned
Premier League, while CAS said the AFC refused PSSI’s request to
enter the Persija Jakarta team instead of Persipura.
The CAS ruling forced the AFC to hastily schedule Thursday’s
match with Persipura only arriving in Adelaide on Wednesday.
Boogard scored in the 12th minute from Dario Vidosic’s corner,
before Levchenko made it 2-0 with by converting another corner from
Vidosic in the 57th.
Van Dijk sealed the win in the 84th minute after collecting a
cross from and evading the Persipura defense.
Adelaide will now join Group E in the Champions League
containing Japan’s Gamba Osaka, Bunyodkor of Uzbekistan and the
winner of Saturday’s playoff between Thai side Chonburi and South
Korea’s Pohang Steelers.
The group stage kicks off on March 6.