- Tuesday, 08 May 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
Out of reckoning for a place in the knockout stage, a depleted East Bengal face an uphill task as they host Kuwait’s Kazma SC of Abdou Jammeh in their concluding group B league match of the AFC Cup at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan tomorrow.
With Tolgay Ozbey, Orji Penn and Uga Okpara indisposed, East Bengal, who have lost all their matches, are left with no option but to start with only one foreigner in veteran Edmilson Marques.
The home team will also miss medio Mehtab Hussain, goalkeeper Sandip Nandy, forward Robin Singh and defender Subodh Kumar while Jammeh’s Kazma have no injury worries ahead of the game.
Locked on eight points with Yemeni outfit Al-Orouba, for Kazma, looking to assure themselves of a place in the pre-quarters, the match at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan is a must-win one. A draw for Kazma would keep alive the chances of Al-Orouba, who take on Iraq’s Arbil in tomorrow’s other match, scheduled to be held later in the evening.
The scheduling miffed Kazma’s coach Milan Máčala who said it would give Arbil an unfair advantage. “I had requested (the Asia Football Confederation [AFC]) to schedule both the matches simultaneously... But it did not help,” the former Bahrain coach said.
The visitors have made their intentions clear by arriving here two days in advance, to acclimatise to the hot and humid conditions in Indai. “We have to adjust to the high temperature and humidity. That’s our main concern,” Máčala said as the team had their second training session today afternoon.
He however said the artificial turf was not a concern as they were used to playing on surfaces inferior than the one at the Yuba Bharati. The visitors are high on confidence having beaten East Bengal 3-0 in the first-leg.
“We don’t have any chance to qualify and as such will give an opportunity to a number of our reserve players to show their skills,” East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan said.