Marin Ion is a tough talker. So it came as no surprise when he cringed at his side i.e. Kuwait Sports Club’s incapability to hold onto a four goal cushion, allowing East Bengal to vitiate what seemed as perfect day for the hosts in the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) first leg semi-final against the Indian crusaders.
The Brigadiers took the lead through Issam Jemaa, doubling and then further tripling the score thanks to Walid Jumma’s efforts. Shortly after the mid-way interval, the quadrupled their lead over a hapless East Bengal side after a Chadi Hammami pounced on the opposition goalkeeper’s capitulation.
Yet East Bengal found strength to muster a fight back and scored two precious away goals thanks to Uga Okpara and Lalrindika Ralte, events which wiped the sheen off the result for Kuwait SC and the smile off the coach’s face.
“We had a good start to the game and we managed to take a comfortable lead in the first half as we scored three goals,” complained Marin, who’d led his side to their previous AFC Cup Championship just last year.
Highlighting his sides sloppiness he explained, “However, things changed in the second period as we made several defensive mistakes which gave the chance to our opponents to score two goals.”
Nonetheless, he maintained his side remain perfectly capable of finishing the jib they started when they meet the Red and Gold outfit in Kolkata on the 22nd of October in the second leg.
“These two goals means that the second leg match will be a hard one as both teams still have a chance to go through to the final. However, we have big confidence that we can still get back with a positive result and qualify,” concluded the upbeat coach.
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