Galekovic 'shattered' by AFC howler
Adelaide United goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic admitted he was "shattered" after a rare error ended his team's 100 percent record in the AFC Champions League.
In swirling winds, the usually rock-steady handler fumbled a routine free-kick into the path of Pohang Steelers' Kim Dae-Ho, who tucked it away despite a despairing slide by defender Bruce Djite, who was credited with an own goal.
It was enough for a 1-0 home win for the Steelers, who replaced 2006 runners-up Adelaide at the top of Group E by virtue of their head-to-head record.
"It was one of those things, it happened that quick," Galekovic said on the Football Federation Australia website.
"I had two things in my head -- the ball was going out and I was deciding whether to catch it or leave it, and I went for it and fumbled it.
"Obviously it's disappointing. It's a long way to go and to concede a goal like I did. I feel shattered for the boys."
After the first three games, only Emirati side Al Jazira and Saudi giants Al Ittihad are on maximum points, with no team in the wide-open East Asian groups more than three points off their respective pool leaders.
Gamba Osaka surged into Group E contention with their first win of the season, against Bunyodkor, and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors made up ground on surprise Thai package Buriram United with their 2-0 victory in Group H.
"It is a shame that we lost the match," Buriram coach Attaphol Puspakom said on the AFC website, admitting his treble-winning side had felt the pressure after winning their first two games.
"Certainly, there were lots of expectations for us to win this game due to very favourable statistics but the players definitely felt the pressure."
FC Tokyo and Ulsan Hyundai are on identical points at the top of Group F, Nagoya Grampus have a two-point advantage in Group G and Buriram are also two clear of Kashiwa Reysol in Group H.
By contrast Al Jazira, Al Ittihad, Foolad Sepahan and Piroozi Athletic all enjoy big leads in the four West Asian groups, making them odds-on to reach the knock-out round of 16 at the end of next month.
Related Adelaide United News