New Delhi: East Bengal succumbed to a solitary goal defeat to Lebanons Al Safa Club in their opening AFC Cup encounter at Beiruts Sports City Stadium Tuesday.
According to information received here, the Calcutta club, helped by some brilliant work under the bar by Subrata Paul, kept their mighty rivals at bay throughout the match except for once in the 18th minute when Mbassi Rafael struck the match-winner.
Minutes later, the Lebanon side had a chance to increase the lead but Paul came to his teams rescue with a spectacular save. Al Safa striker Khodor Salameh took a powerful shot during the closing stages of the first session but it hit the post before going out.
The Lebanese side missed a penalty in the second-half after Paul brought down Rony Azar inside the area. Ramez Dayoub wasted the spot kick.
East Bengal: Subrata Paul, Surkumar Singh, M Suresh, Majek Bolaji, Debabrata Roy, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Ike Ibe Gift (Hardeep Saini), Alvito D'Cunha, Mehtab Hossain (Snehashis Chakraborty), Syed Rahim Nabi and Edmilson Marques.