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Posted on 24/02/15 by Kingfisher East Bengal
Malaysian champions Johor Darul Ta'zim began their AFC Cup campaign in emphatic fashion on Tuesday with a convincing 4-1 victory over Kingfisher East Bengal of India in their Group F opener.
Nazrin Nawi’s opener for the hosts on nine minutes was cancelled out by Ranti Martins on 35 minutes only for Safiq Rahim to put Johor in front once again three minutes later from the penalty spot to give them the lead at the interval.
Suppiah Chanturu’s goal two minutes into the second half gave Johor breathing space and the result was all but sewn up on 52 minutes as Safee Sali acrobatically scored the home side’s fourth and final goal.
Johor wasted no time exerting their authority on the game and broke the deadlock after just nine minutes as an attacking move saw Chanturu brought down outside the area, and the resulting direct free-kick saw Nazrin curl it past the fingertips of Abhijit Mondal and into the East Bengal goal.
Nigerian striker Martins, though, levelled the score for the visitors against the run of play shortly after the half hour mark when he saw his free-kick deflected past the stand-in Johor goalkeeper Izham Tarmizi.
But the hosts were given an opportunity to restore the lead two minutes later when East Bengal defender Milan Susak handled a cross under no pressure inside the area and captain Rahim stepped up to power home his spot-kick into the top right corner.
And a quick counter attacking move two minutes into the second half saw Nazrin burst past the offside trap to receive a long ball on the left and he then squared it across for Chanturu to stab home into an empty net.
The 27-year-old Malaysia midfielder was in the thick of the action again when he received a throw-in from Asaruddin Putra and cut back a cross for Safee to execute an overhead kick finish at the near post to complete the scoring eight minutes later.
“My players are not playing the way as I have expected them to,” said East Bengal coach Eelco Schattori. “I wanted them to play more short balls, but we played more long balls to the forward instead.
“It is only one week since I had just taken over and I will be bringing some of the coaches I know to replace the technical staff I have.”
KINGFISHER EAST BENGAL: Abhijit Mondal, Deepak Mondal, Milan Susak, Gurwinder Singh, Robert Lalthlamuana, Shylo Malswamtluanga (Joaquim Abranches), Mehtab Hossain, Mohammed RafiqueLalrindika Ralte, Dudu Omagbemi, Ranti Martins