East Bengal loses to Safa in AFC Cup

March 12th, 2008 - 9:18 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) East Bengal slumped to a 0-1 loss to Labanon’s Safa Sporting Club in their AFC cup lung-opener in Beirut. The Federation Cup champions were totally outplayed in the Group B match by the home team and never looked in contention. Safa’s win Tuesday night fetched them three points.

Safa’s Cameroonian midfielder Bernard Rafael Mbassi scored the all-important goal in the 18th minute in front of the cheering home crowd.

In the first half, East Bengal had a torrid time in tackling Safa’s threat as their defence failed to thwart the frequent attacks. The problem compounded as the midfield too looked out of sorts.

The red-and-gold brigade’s was so weak at the back Tuesday that custodian Subrata Pal had to come out of his line several time to cover up the holes.

Safa, who were making their debut in the AFC Cup, scored the winner from on one of the clear chances they got in early stages of the match.

The Lebanese side got their first chance in the 16th minute but Amer Khan’s shot struck the crossbar.

However, two minutes later, an unmarked Mbassi scored the winner from a Mohamed Korhani’s cross from the left flank.

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