Calcutta: Kingfisher East Bengal’s AFC Cup dreams came to an end after they lost 0-2 to Arbil at the Francouse Al-Hareeri Stadium, Arbil, on Tuesday. The Iraqi side scored both the goals through penalties.
East Bengal — without striker Tolgay Ozebe and coach Trevor James Morgan — played well in patches, but their effort was not enough as they succumbed to their fourth defeat in as many matches in the competition.
In the 44th minute of the match, East Bengal left-back Robert Lalthlamuana fouled an Arbil player inside the box and Abdul Razzaq Husein calmly converted the penalty.
A minute after the resumption of play, referee awarded another penalty to Arbil after Robert tackled Mubarak in the box. Abdul Razzaq stepped up yet again to score Arbil’s second goal.
Mehtab Hossain — making a comeback after recovering from a groin injury — Penn Orji and Edmilson then came close to scoring but could not convert their respective chances as East Bengal remained rooted at the bottom of group B without any point.
Speaking after the match, East Bengal’s assistant coach Ranjan Chaudhuri said: “Although we could not score, we played a good match. I think we conceded two bad penalties and we could utilise our opportunities. Luck was not on our side today.”
In Margao, Amer Abdel Abuhwaiti and Mahmoud Shelbaeh scored a goal in each half to guide Al Wehdat to a convincing 2-1 win over Salgaocar. Salgaocar’s Ishfaq Ahmed cancelled first half strike by Amer.
Salgaocar remained on one point from four matches and are out of contention for the knockout stage. However, coach Karim Bencharifa sounded pleased with the team’s performance.