BY ATANU MITRA
Kuwait SC, the defending champions of the AFC Cup notched up an impressive 3-0 win over East Bengal to advance to the final of the continental championship.
Marin Ion, the coach of the side was happy with the display his team put up and remarked that they knew it will not hbe hard to advance to the finals.
"We had a 2-goal lead from the first leg and were never worried. We knew East Bengal had to go and attack and that would leave them with large spaces in the midfield. So, we included the jersey no 9, who has great pace. I only needed speed on the attack," he told the press in the post-match conference.
The coach was all praises for the 70,000 odd crowd that turned up to watch the match in the Saltlake Stadium in Kolkata.
"I do hope that the spectators were happy with the the match. It was a good performance from both the teams. We have qualified for the final and hoping to win the title now. Frankly, I admired the attendance. Though their team was losing, they supported the good play and motivated the players," he said.
Hadi Khamees was given the marching order after kicking Uga Okpara off the ball only a minute after he had scored a goal. The veteran coach however, seemed confident that his unavailibility in the final would make little difference, if any.
"The red is not a big loss for the final. We have many other players to take his space. And it was an individual mistake, no big deal for the team," Ion told.
For the team, Rogerinho was brilliant throughout the match, but the coach denied to give any single player credits for the win.
"Rojerinho was very good, but I believe equally in all my players. He can't win a match alone. Everyone is equally important," he signed off.