East Bengal's hopes of progressing further in the AFC Cup ended as they faltered against Iraqi side Arbil 2-0...Syrian striker Abdulrazak Al Husein scored twice from the penalty spot on either side of the break as Iraq's Arbil maintained an unbeaten record in Group B of the AFC Cup with a 2-0 win over East Bengal and handed the Red and Gold brigade their fourth consecutive defeat in the tournament.
Arbil made a bright start to the contest as Nabeel Sabah hit the East Bengal crossbar after merely 13 minutes, but the home side had to wait until stoppage time at the end of the first half to find a breakthrough.
Al Husein, who had scored his first goal of the campaign in Arbil's 2-0 win over East Bengal in the away tie in Kolkata, broke the deadlock in the first minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half at Francouse Al Hareeri Stadium. Muslim Mubarak was fouled inside the penalty area and Al Husein made no mistake from the spot as the Syrian striker beat East Bengal goalkeeper Sandip Nandy.
And just two minutes into the second half Mubarak was again upended inside the area, this time by Robert Lalthlamuana, and Al Husein once again kept his nerve and drilled the resulting penalty down the middle giving Sandip no chance.
The win also sees them join Kuwait's Kazma and three points clear of Yemen's Al Orouba at the top of Group B with just two games remaining. For, East Bengal it virtually seals their qualification hopes with no points on board yet.
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