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The former East Bengal coach praised the effort of Mehtab Hossain in particular after the Kolkata outfit reached the semis of the AFC Cup...

Subhash Bhowmick, who had guided East Bengal to win the ASEAN Cup in 2003, congratulated the Red and Gold brigade as they became only the second Indian club to have made it into the semi-final of the AFC Cup.

East Bengal won the quarterfinal tie on a 2-1 aggregate over Indonesian giants Semen Padang to extend their unbeaten run in the current edition of the continental competition.

"It's a great day for Indian football. I congratulate them for the result," Bhowmick told Goal.

The former technical director of Churchill Brothers heaped praise on Mehtab Hossain as he put in a brilliant performance in the middle of the park.

"Mehtab is the man of the match for me. He had a superb game in the midfield. You must also give Gurpreet (Sandhu) the credit he deserves. Yes, East Bengal conceded the goal due to a Gurpreet error, but he recovered well from it and made a very good save later. Also, the coaching manuals say that the defenders must mark the strikers well during the goal-kicks. That didn't happen in this case. So, it will be wrong to victimize only Gurpreet for the goal," he told.

Bhowmick opined that the semi-final will be a much tougher test for the Kolkata outfit.

"In Asia, countries in the middle-east have the best football leagues if you leave only Japan and the two Korean nations. So, Kuwait FC will not be an easy opponent at all. Let's see what happens," he concluded.

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