Marcos Falopa was left visibly pleased at his side heroics, in the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Cup semi-final's first leg in Kuwait.
East Bengal went head-to-head against the current AFC Cup champions and Kuwaiti league leaders Kuwait SC. However at half-time the game looked all but wrapped up for the hosts as The Brigadiers rushed into a three goal lead leaving the visitors gasping for reprieve. Things were to get even brighter for the home team as the score a fourth due to a Chadi Hammami opportunistic strike after a calamitous goalkeeping error by Gurpreet Sandhu.
However the Red and Gold's resuscitated themselves into consciousness and scored two vital away goals through Uga Okpara and Lalrindika Ralte and give the score-line some semblance of an even fight.
Having got these two away goals, the East Bengal team know they have to mount a sustained attack in the second-leg to have any chance of heading into the final of the competition, a view endorsed by the Brazilian coach of East Bengal, Marcos Falopa.
Speaking in a post-match interview, the Falopa cited Kuwait SC’s relative superiority and experience as core reasons why they won, while at the same time voicing his pleasure at the sight of his team fighting back.
“As I said previously, the match would be very hard especially as we were playing against an experienced side who have powerful attacking players that managed to create many chances and score four goals against us.
“Kuwait team dominated the first half but we were done in by two bad decisions of referee and linesman which resulted in the first two goals scored from a palpably offside positions. However, what made me happy today is that we managed to make a good comeback as losing 4-2 is better than losing 4-0,” added the Brazilian.
"The substitutes changed the complexion of the game completely."
He concluded by saying his side have a great chance at home to turn the tide and possibly cause an upset, “This result will give us a big push in order to fight for our chances in the second leg and hopefully we can get a positive result that will help us advance to the final.”
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