Menezes relieved following nail-biting win

Shandong Luneng coach Mano Menezes has admitted that he was relieved after his side beat Adelaide United 2-1 in their AFC Champions League qualifying match on Tuesday. 

Yang Xu opened the scoring for Shandong in the 17th minute before Diego Tardelli doubled his side’s lead in the 39th minute.

Just as Shandong seemed to be cruising to a 2-0 win, Adelaide brought themselves back into contention in the dying minutes of the game when striker Sergio Cirio scored in the 89th minute.

However, the Chinese Super League club managed to hold on for the win and were subsequently placed in Group F of the AFC Champions League along with Buriram United, FC Seoul and Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

Menezes admitted that he was very nervous when Adelaide reduced the deficit in the closing stages after his side failed to convert a number of golden opportunities earlier on.

“First of all I want to say it’s a good win and we played at our level, also I think our opponent showed their quality,” Menezes told the official AFC website. “In the second half, we should have scored two or maybe three more goals. But we didn’t take our chances, so I became a little bit scared.

“It is a difficult game for both side and my players suffered too much, and you know there can only be one team who can join the next stage so it was a tough game.”

Shandong will begin their AFC Champions League group stage campaign against Hiroshima on February 23.