East Bengal in Semifinal of AFC Cup

Posted on 24/09/13 by Kingfisher East Bengal


Video of the goals of of AFC Cup 2013 2nd leg quarter final ( Courtsey: AFC )


Indonesia continued to be a happy hunting ground for Indian Football. It was here on 1st June, 1960 India defeated Indonesia 2-0 to qualify to the Olympics. Again on 4th September, 1962 in front of a hostile crowd India won the Asiad Gold and we all know what happened on 26th July, 2003 at Asean Club Cup final.


Today history was again repeated when East Bengal entered the Semi Final of AFC Cup 2013 and wrote a golden chapter in the history of Indian Football.


EAST BENGAL THEREBY CREATED AN INDIAN RECORD OF REACHING THE SEMI FINAL REMAINING UNBEATEN IN NINE MATCHES OF AFC CUP IN A ROW. 


The second leg quarter final ended in 1-1 draw and the red & golds are through to semifinals by 2-1 aggregate win.

 

East Bengal after winning their first leg by an amazing Sueoka goal last Tuesday left for Padang to take on the The Red Buffalos at their den. In the sunny scorching afternoon East Bengal conceded in the 24th minute as Semen Padang's Edward Junior Wilson scored but the red & golds continued their fight and went on to equalize in the 78th minute when South Sudanese International James Moga headed in a clinical cross from Baljit Sahni.


The East Bengal bench was the target of football hooligans at the Haji Agus Salim Stadium in Padang, Indonesia after the Indian soccer giants beat local side Semen Padang. Bottles and crackers were thrown at the players after East Bengal defeated the local favourites to enter the tournament's semifinal stage. 


AFC Match Report


Photo: kingfishereastbengal.com


A late header from South Sudan striker James Moga saw East Bengal become the first Indian side to reach the semi-finals of the AFC Cup in five years after coming from behind to share a 1-1 draw with Indonesia’s Semen Padang in Tuesday’s quarter-final second leg.


Edward Junior Wilson’s 10th goal of the AFC Cup campaign had seen Padang cancel out Ryuji Sueoka’s solitary goal from the first leg in Kolkata last week.



Photo: World Sports Group


But with first-half substitute Moga heading home with 12 minutes remaining at Agus Salim Stadium to put East Bengal ahead 2-1 on aggregate, Marcos Falopa’s side will play the first leg of their semi-final away from home next week after following in the footsteps of 2008 semi-finalists and fellow I-League side Dempo Sports Club.


Photo: World Sports Group

 

Looking add to their slender advantage from last week’s first leg, East Bengal made a bright start and threatened to add to their slender one-goal advantage from several set-pieces inside the first 15 minutes.


But after Padang went close to a breakthrough after 20 minutes as a reflex save East Bengal goalkeeper Gurpreet Sandhu turned away Titus Bonai’s close range flicked header, the home side levelled the tie on aggregate midway through the first half.


And having been the busier of the two goalkeepers, it was Sandhu’s error which handed Padang the chance to draw level as his scuffed goal kick went straight to Wilson just outside the penalty area, and after the Liberian held off defender Uga Okpara the striker rifled into the top corner.



Photo: World Sports Group


East Bengal’s chances were dealt a further blow just before half-time as first leg goal scorer Sueoka was forced off with an injury, after the Japanese striker had earlier clashed with Padang goalkeeper Jandia Eka Putra, to be replaced by Moga.


Padang, though, endured their own injury setback at the start of the second half as Wilson was replaced by Muhammad Nur Iskandar.


Despite the blow, the home side remained the dominate force with Elie Aiboy twice coming close before Iskandar grazed the side netting with 15 minutes remaining.


But Padang were made to pay three minutes later as substitute Moga met a chipped cross from fellow substitute Baljit Sahni and powered an unstoppable header past goalkeeper Putra from the edge of the six yard area.



Photo: Asian Football Confederation


Needing two goals to save their AFC Cup campaign, Padang pressed in the closing stages, but were unable to find a way back into the contest as East Bengal maintained their unbeaten record in the competition this season.


KINGFISHER EAST BENGAL: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Naoba Singh, Arnab Mondal, Uga Okpara, Robert Lalthlamuana (Baljit Singh Sahni), Saumik Dey, Joaquim Abranches (Gurwinder Singh), Mehtab Hossain, Ryuji Sueoka (James Moga), Lalrindika Ralte, Edeh Chidi


Photo: kingfishereastbengal.com


“I dedicate this triumph to East Bengal’s players, officials and fans,” said 64-year-old Marcos Falopa. He further added, “Semen did their best and the weather was very hot but we were able to qualify.”


Semen Padang coach Jafri Sastrak was left to rue a lack of proficiency in front of goal. “We missed a lot of chances,” said Sastrak. He added, “We created a lot but we could not score. I also think we were unlucky.”

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