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AFC Cup: East Bengal hold South China 3-3

April 26, 2011 21:52 IST

Foreign recruit Tolgay Ozbey struck a goal in the dying minutes to help East Bengal snatch a 3-3 draw against South China in their return leg AFC Cup match at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Tuesday.

Down 1-2 till the 86th minute, the Hong Kong outfit scored two back to back goals in a space of five minutes to trail past East Bengal.

But the home side, who are playing in Cuttack because of the Assmebly elections in West Bengal, scored through a dubious penalty decision to split points.

East Bengal's Australian recruit Ozbey, who had given his side lead by finding the net the 20th minute, scored his all important second goal in the 93rd minute.

Substitute Baljit Singh Sahni had scored in the 69th to hand them a 2-1 advantage.

The visitors scored through Kin Pong Kowk (57th), substitute Michael Cheng Lai Hin (87th) and Chi Ho Lee (92nd).

South China now have five points after four matches, while East Bengal remained at the bottom of their group H standings with two from five outings.

East Bengal had lost 0-1 to the Hong Kong outfit in their first-leg fixture.

East Bengal took the lead when Ozbey after receving the ball from Mehtab Hossain beat the opponents' defenders before firing in from his right-footer.

The red-and-gold brigade clearly were a better side in the first-half as they used the home conditions well as they kept pressure on the visitors.

Orji Penn missed a sitter in the 25th minute which could have doubled the lead but they settled for their 1-0 advantage at interval.

But a misunderstanding by Mehrajuddin Wadoo and their goalkeeper Sandeep Nandy proved to be costly with Kowk heading the ball in to bring in the equaliser.

Mehraj missed the ball when it was in the air while the goalkeeper also missed the flight as Kwok converted without much fuss.

But Baljit, who replaced Sushil Singh in the first-half, helped East Bengal snatch the lead when he used Robin Singh's ground pass from the left for a 2-1 lead.

East Bengal however lost the lead in the 87th minute when Cheng Lai Hin who substituted captain Nicholas Butt beat Nandy at the far post with a brilliant header.

In the first minute of the second half injury time, Hong Kong outfit were reduced to 10 men after Siu Ki Chan earned his second yellow even as both the teams were locked 2-2.

The injury time produced two goals one of them from a controversial penalty by East Bengal as the opponent's coach termed it a wrong decision by referee Kadhoum Odah Lazeem Al-Saedi.

Lee gave South China a 3-2 lead in the second minute of the injury time but soon a penalty decision went against the visitors as East Bengal earned a point.

Ozbey was brought down inside the South China box in the dying minutes as the Australian converted the spot for a draw.

South China boss Chan Ho Yin said they should have won the match but for a wrong judgment by the referee.

"We were leading (3-2) but penalty judgment by the referee took the game away from us. There was no contact but the decision went against us. Otherwise we would have won the match," he said.

East Bengal coach Trevor James Morgan said, "We were leading 2-1 but we lost many chances and there were a few individual mistakes. I am disappointed with the result."
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