The match started off slowly and East Bengal had the first shot on goal when Chidi’s tame shot was stopped by the Kuwait SC goal keeper. Then on Kuwait SC dominated the proceedings all through the 1st half of the match. They opened scoring in the 17th minute through Issam Jemaa, he went to add another one in the 33rd minute and Waleed Ali made it 3-0 before the half-time whistle.
When play resumed after the break, thanks to East Bengal custodian Gurpreet’s silly mistake Kuwait SC increased their tally to four through Chadi Hammami’s simple tap in. At that stage it looked like Kuwait SC is heading to a massive victory.
However East Bengal managed to turn around the match partially by scoring two crucial away goals after their Brazilian coach Marcos Falopa brought in two substitutions. One among the substitutes Lalrindika Ralte swung in a very good corner kick which was headed in by Uga Okpara in the 66th minute. In the 87th minute Lalrindika Ralte himself got on the score sheet with a superbly taken goal.
While Kuwait SC home stadium was almost barren with only a handful of supporter cheering them, they will come across a different proposition when they visit Kolkota in the second leg of the semi-final on October 22nd. With good home support and if East Bengal can replicate their second half performance in Kuwait they stand a slender chance to overturn this tie.
Team line-up and stats here.
Watch all the goals from the match here. Due credits to the folks at Indian Football home.