OSAKA, Japan (AFP) - Gamba Osaka and Adelaide United are primed for the biggest game in their histories on Wednesday with both teams determined to be crowned the best club in Asia.
The Japanese side have home advantage in the first leg of the AFC Champions League final, with Adelaide searching for crucial away goals ahead of the return tie at a sold-out Hindmarsh Stadium on November 12.
The Australians are already guaranteed a place in the lucrative FIFA Club World Cup next month against continental champions including Manchester United, but will not be lacking in motivation.
If they lift the silverware they will go down as the first Australian team to achieve the feat.
With a heavy schedule over the past months, getting his squad into the best physical condition has been coach Aurelio Vidmar's main priority ahead of the match after they lost to Melbourne Victory in the A-League on Friday.
"We have to stay positive," Vidmar said of a team that has punched above its weight throughout its Champions League debut, with some rating their achievement so far on a par with the Socceroos making the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
"We have two of the biggest games in the club's history coming up, so we have to get it right for both matches by fixing some small details," Vidmar added.
The defeat on Friday was a wake-up call and Adelaide captain Travis Dodd believes it will reap dividends.
"Things have been going pretty well for us recently so maybe the result will serve a good purpose as it'll wake the boys up," said the former international midfielder.
"We'll have to work hard to get a result on Wednesday. The AFC Champions League is a massive competition and it's a big game, so I'm sure the boys will pick themselves up and look forward to it in a positive frame of mind."
With Cristiano, the club's top scorer, up front and a tough defence including Angelo Costanzo, the lanky Sasa Ognenovski and towering Robert Cornthwaite, Adelaide will be a tough nut to crack.
But Gamba have been in outstanding form recently, showing great character to reach their first final by scoring three goals in a devastating 27 minutes to beat defending champions Urawa Reds 3-1 in the semis.
They did not have a game at the weekend so approach Wednesday's big match on fresh legs, with goalkeeper Yosuke Fujigaya lining up behind Sota Nakazawa and Satoshi Yamaguchi and full-backs Akira Kaji and Michihiro Yasuda.
The heart of the team is the experienced midfield quartet of Yasuhito Endo, Tomokazu Myojin, Hideo Hashimoto and Takahiro Futagawa.
Leading the line will be Roni and his Brazilian compatriot Lucas.
"We are the representatives of Japan in the Champions League final and we must defend Urawa's cup," said coach Akira Nishino in a rallying call.
Plenty is at stake for Gamba, who are a club with ambition.
The winner gets 600,000 US dollars -- a prize boosted to 1.5 million dollars next season -- which would go some way to helping the team fulfil its dream of moving to a bigger stadium and increasing its fan base.
|Ronaldo takes one for the team as Portugal emerge from drudgery in Lens|
|Croatia 0 Portugal 1 (aet): Quaresma earns quarter-final berth|
|Hodgson will not beg for FA approval after Euro 2016|
|Emotional Bale glad to share Paris joy with family|
|O´Neill left frustrated by officials following Euro 2016 exit|
|Coleman hails Bale brilliance in Wales win|
|Low relying on Kroos to lead Germany the way|
|Italy v Spain: Thiago denies shirt jinx ahead of Azzurri clash|
|O´Neill: McAuley has been magnificent|
|Szczesny thanks Swiss fans for drink|
|Hector: Slovakia have plenty of quality in attack|
|Morata: Italy defenders have told me to wear a helmet|
|Coleman content with scrappy Wales progression|
|Wales remain and Northern Ireland leave after Paris battle|
|We are free of pressure - Gera|
|´Do I look like I have doubts?´ - Defiant Nawalka defends Lewandowski|
|Wales 1 Northern Ireland 0: McAuley´s woe is Welsh joy|
|No chance Barcelona star Neymar will join Madrid, says his father|
|Witsel happier to face Hungary than Spain|
|Wilmots accepts pressure ahead of Hungary test|
|Slovakia can upset Germany again - Pekarik|
|Shaqiri unhappy with Poland celebrations after Euro 2016 exit|
|Grosicki struggled to watch Poland shootout win|
|Poland need Lewandowski to rediscover ruthless streak|
|Switzerland 1 Poland 1 (aet, 4-5 pens): Xhaka shocker costs Swiss after Shaqiri magic|
|Payet can handle hero status - Deschamps|
|Redmond joins Southampton on five-year deal|
|Sturridge: Sterling unfairly targeted over England performances|
|Wilmots: I want more from smiling De Bruyne|
|Croatia star Perisic unveils latest wacky hairstyle|
|Brazil´s Lucas Lima wants European move|
|Lloris tempers talk of Ireland revenge mission|
|Deschamps refuses to make France ´98 comparisons|
|O´Neill confident Ireland can shock France|
|Chiellini will give Morata a few kicks - Barzagli|
|England v Iceland: Rooney targets early goal|
|Italy´s Candreva ruled out of Spain match|
|Butland ready for pre-season after scan gives goalkeeper all-clear|
|Origi not underestimating Hungary|
|Plans drafted for Old Firm games to be played abroad|
|Boost for Germany as Boateng trains ahead of last 16|
|I never saw Ronaldo look in the mirror! - Ancelotti|
|Fabregas fears Brexit will damage Premier League|
|Roy not keen on Ireland allocation|
|Dyke backs Hodgson for new contract|
|Spain not as aggressive as 2012, claims Ancelotti|
|Ronaldo and Messi need each other – Ancelotti|
|Juve on the same level as Madrid and Barcelona - Dybala|
|Fabregas: Conte´s Italy will be tough|
|Argentina v Chile: New year, same Copa finalists|
|Ronaldo ´cannot be the whole of Portugal´ - Shilton|
|Messi: Neymar is an amazing person|
|Pekerman keen to finish Copa on high note|
|Rakitic: Ronaldo won´t sleep easily|
|Messi: Now is not a time to give nothing|
|Courtois expects to leave Chelsea in future|
|Less rest no problem for Portugal - Joao Mario|
|Euro 2016 Diary: Benteke rap and Nelly the elephant|
|Santos: Group-stage performances behind Portugal|
|Cacic: We cannot let Ronaldo show his strength|
|O´Neill hopes to blow Bale off course|
|Coleman impressed with Ramsey´s discipline|
|O´Neill fires derby passions ahead of Wales showdown|
|Coleman: Take emotion out of Northern Ireland clash|
|LFP sanctions six Nice players for flouting gambling rules|
|Hungary v Belgium: Lukaku targets last-four spot|
|Dyke hopes Brexit can help England youngsters|
|No favourites against Italy, says Koke|
|Krychowiak not thinking about PSG as Poland stand by Lewandowski|
|World Cup qualifying: Algeria, Cameroon and Nigeria drawn in same group|
|Brexit may damage Premier League´s pursuit of young European players|
|Germany v Slovakia: Weiss confident of repeat Augsburg success|
|France v Republic of Ireland: Long not on Henry revenge mission|
|Chelsea midfielder Baker extends Vitesse loan|
|Chiellini concerned over Brexit ´domino effect´|
|Staying in Euro 2016 gets Coleman´s vote|
|Nainggolan has a room with a balcony so he can smoke - Wilmots|
|Petkovic attempts Poland mind games|
|Wilmots would rather play Spain than Hungary|
|Morata deserves more than being a Madrid bargaining chip - Chiellini|
|AZ want record fee for Janssen|
|What does Brexit mean for European football?|
|I´m not tired, I feel sharp - Kane hits back at critics|
|Delighted Kiyotake hopes to prove his value|
|Premier League confident Brexit will not diminish its success|
|Neuer wary of Hamsik´s long-range shots|
|Genesio: Lyon do not have to sell|
|Morata thanks Juventus fans after Real Madrid return|
|Lapadula undergoes AC Milan medical|
|Santos: Not everything revolves around Ronaldo|
|Icelandic chihuahua prepares to chase the England rhino|
|Jakupovic signs new Hull City contract|
|Lagerback: Brexit will not affect England team|
|ES Setif disqualified from CAF Champions League|
|Gerland sees Kimmich as Lahm´s long-term successor|
|Navas ´recovering nicely´ from heel injury|
|Messi excited by future Barcelona challenges|
|Conte´s Italy like Atletico and Barcelona, says Xavi|
|Zidane the man to take Madrid forward, says Baptista|
|United States v Colombia: Hosts out to end Copa America on a high|
|Aubameyang: It´s my dream to play in Spain|
|Wenger not interested in France job|
|Ronaldo: Euro 2016 surprises end now for Portugal|
|Coke hopeful Sampaoli can exceed Emery at Sevilla|
|Maradona: Portugal too dependent on Ronaldo|
|´What a disaster´ - Messi takes aim at AFA|
|Guidetti: Nolito will thrive at City|
|Wanyama thanks Southampton fans following Spurs switch|
|Kranjcar: Rangers can push Celtic all the way|
|Euro 2016 Diary: Icelandic heaven and Rooney not feeling the love|
|Wenger respects Vardy, talks up Kante|
|Rooney wants to end ´disappointing´ tournament record for England|
|Di Maria in serious doubt for Copa America final|