Yemeni side Al Orouba rode on a dubious penalty decision to walk away with a lucky 1-0 win over East Bengal in their Group B AFC Cup opener at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata [ Images ] on Tuesday.
East Bengal enjoyed more possession to dominate the proceedings but lack of finishing did not help their cause as the visitors scored the decisive goal in the 45+2 minute when Fatai Alao converted from the spot.
Al Orouba were at their sloppiest best with little goal-bound moves as none of their players could pose any threat to the East Bengal defence led by Uga Okpara.
East Bengal had a three-pronged attack in Robin Singh, Edmilson and Tolgay Ozbey and looked penetrating a couple of occasions but were unlucky.
The Yemeni outfit went ahead just at the stroke of half-time when East Bengal were unfortunate to concede a penalty in a rather controversial fashion.
From an Al Orouba attack, East Bengal goalkeeper Gurwinder Singh came out of his line after a miscommunication with defender Gurpreet Singh and failed to clear the ball.
As a result, Gurpreet fouled Orouba striker Abdellah Sharyan after an aerial challenge inside the box in a rather dubious manner.
Bangladeshi referee Shamsuzzman Hasan Tayeb flashed the yellow card to the East Bengal defender and a penalty in favour of the visitors.
Al Orouba's Nigerian recruit Alao converted from the spot to help his side take a 1-0 lead at half time despite a sloppy display. East Bengal players and coach Trevor Morgan protested the referee's decision but in vain.