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Kuwait SC prove too strong for East Bengal in AFC Cup semifinal

Joaquim Abranches

I-League side East Bengal Club have lost their AFC Cup semifinal first leg match against defending champions Kuwait SC on Tuesday night.

East Bengal started off well against the hosts at the Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium, as both sides had their attempts on the target in the early stages of the match. Chidi Edeh had East Bengal’s first chance nine minutes into the game. But his long-ranger was easily saved by the Kuwait SC keeper.

It was Kuwait SC who opened the score sheet in the 17th minute, when an unmarked Issam Jemaa beat the offside trao and slotted home past keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

The hosts almost increased the lead in the 27th minute, when a great through ball found Abdullah Al Buraiki in the East Bengal box. Al Buraiki somehow put the ball wide to the delight of the Indian fans in the stands.

Chidi Edeh had a wonderful chance to level the score-line moments later, when James Moga set him up perfectly in the box. But Chidi’s volley missed the target just to hit the side netting.

Kuwait SC had a prompt reply to East Bengal’s challenge and increased their lead with two quick goals on the other side of the pitch. Waleed Aly Huseen Jomah (32′) and Issam Jemaa (33′) with his second goal of the night made it 3-0 for the Kuwaiti team to hand their team a convincing lead at half-time.

Chadi Hammami took advantage of a goalkeeping blunder by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu just a few seconds into the second half to hand East Bengal an almost impossible task to keep their hopes for the final alive.

East Bengal coach Marcos Falopa replaced Harmanjot Singh Khabra and Joaquim Abranches with Lalrindika Ralte and Baljit Singh Sahni to strengthen the midfield for the remainder of the second half.

Falopa’s move to bring on Lalrindika Ralte paid off, as the youngster delivered a perfect corner to set-up defender Uga Okpara who reduced the margin with a powerful header.

Kuwait SC were unfazed by the goal and didn’t allow East Bengal to launch any further promising challenges on Musab Alkandari’s goal. But Lalrindika Ralte scored a vital second goal for East Bengal when the hosts were already feeling save.

East Bengal will host the Kuwaitis in the second leg at the Saltlake Stadium on October 22, but it would take them a really impressive performance to turn the tie in their favour.

AFC Cup 2014 | Semifinal (1st Leg) | Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium, Kuwait City (Kuwait)

1-0  Issam Jemaa (17′)
2-0 Waleed Aly Huseen Jomah (32′)
3-0 Issam Jemaa (33′)
4-0 Chadi Hammami (48′)
4-1 Uga Okpara (65′)
4-2 Lalrindika Ralte (87′)


Kuwait SC
1 Musab Alkandari – 19 Husain Baba, 18 Jarah Al Ateeqi, 31 Sami Alsanea – 8 Abdullah Al Buraiki (90’+2′ 14 Abdullah S.A.S.S. Aldhafeeri), 20 Husain Hakim, 37 Shereedah Alshereedah – 10 Rogerio de Assis Silva Coutinho (68′ 9 Hadi Khamees) – 15 Waleed Aly Huseen Jomah, 13 Chadi Hammami, 17 Issam Jemaa

Unused Subs
16 Khaled Alazemi, 22 Bader Al-Azami, 33 Fahad Homoud, 44 Ahmad, 48 Fahed Jahel

East Bengal Club
30 Gurpreet Singh Sandhu – 8 Thokchom Naoba Singh, 3 Arnab Mondal, 4 Uga Okpara, 19 Robert Lalthlamuana (67′ 24 Cavin Peter Lobo) – 17 Joaquim Abranches (58′ 6 Baljit Singh Sahni), 7 Harmanjot Singh Khabra (50′ 21 Lalrindika Ralte), 14 Mehtab Hossain [C], 29 Soumik Dey – 15 James Moga, 10 Chidi Edeh

Unused Subs
1 Abhijit Mondal, 12 Reisangmi Vashum, 16 Gurwinder Singh, 28 Shylo Malswam Tulunga


Yellow Cards
18′ Uga Okpara (East Bengal Club)
35′ Mehtab Hossain (East Bengal Club)
89′ Abdullah Al Buraiki (Kuwait SC)

Yellow-Red Cards

Red Cards


Tan Hai (China)

Assistant Referees
Mu Yuxin (China), Huo Weiming (China)

Fourth Official
Wang Zhe (China)

Match Commissioner
David Dwight B. Penano (Philippines)