Kamis, 14 Maret 2013

AFC Cup: East Bengal hold Sai Gon Xuan Thanh goalless

Kolkata giants East Bengal Club held Vietnamese side Sai Gon Xuan Thanh yesterday at the Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City to a goalless draw which keeps the two sides at the top of the table with four points from two matches.

Sai Gon started brightly and tested East Bengal goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu after just three minutes as Nguyen Trong Phi tried his luck from 25 yards. Chances were at a premium in a tight first half though Sai Gon comfortably dealt with East Bengal's counterattacks, while Gurpreet was again called into action after 18 minutes to turn away a free-kick from Amougou – who scored twice against S.League champions Tampines last week. East Bengal's first real chance arrived three minutes later as Sai Gon goalkeeper Bui Tan Truong comfortably dealt with a shot from Nigerian midfielder Penn Orji.

Sai Gon continued to control the game in the second half and again came close to a breakthrough five minutes before the hour mark through Oguwike only for Gurpreet to again come to the rescue for the visitors. But despite Sai Gon's dominance, East Bengal came close to snatching all three points with 13 minutes remaining only for Australian striker Andrew Barisic to head over the crossbar from a promising position.

"East Bengal are very physical and very quick and they also have a good defensive line. They played with counterattacks quite a lot so that made it very difficult for us to score," said Sai Gon coach Tran Tien Dai.

"We also had many young players which also made it difficult as this was only the second official game they have played together," he added.

Meanwhile East Bengal coach Trevor James Morga said, "It's a pity because we did not win the game."

"We played well in the first half, but we then struggled to keep possession of the ball. But the result is not bad and I am satisfied with four points after two games," Trevor added.

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