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AFC Cup: East Bengal thrashed by Lebanese club

March 18, 2010 18:17 IST

Federation Cup champions East Bengal suffered their second consecutive defeat in the AFC Cup after going down 0-3 to formidable Lebanese side Al Nejmeh in a lop-sided football match in Beirut.

The hosts surged ahead in the 19th minute through their Senegalese striker Makhete Diop and Abbas Atwi doubled the lead four minutes later as Nejmeh went into the breather with a 2-0 lead at Beirut Sports City Stadium.

Bilal El Najjarine (48th) scored through a penalty in the second half to round off the tally for the hosts on Wednesday.

After this loss, the red-and-gold brigade from Kolkata are now languishing at the bottom of the Group D league table, while the Lebanon League champions are placed second with four points after two matches.

East Bengal were earlier thrashed 1-4 at home by Syrian side Al Ittihad.

Playing without their star striker and captain, Bhaichung Bhutia, the Indians could not put up much of a resistance and cut a sorry figure.

Nejmeh came close to scoring just three minutes after kick-off when Mouhamad Chamass fired just wide of the left bar and the Kolkata side survived another scare two minutes later when custodian Abhra Mondal deflected a Diop shot.

East Bengal lost a scoring opportunity in the 11th minute when Subash Singh broke into the Nejmeh citadel but failed to find the back of the net.

Nejmeh tasted success in 19th minute when Diop headed home a lofted Ali Hamam pass.

Akram Moghrabi then set up midfielder Atwi, who found the target in 23rd minute as Mondal failed to stop him.

The hosts continued to press with their well co-ordinated attacks and came close to scoring six minutes before the lemon-break but Mondal superbly deflected a free-kick off Atwi before Pape Cisse regained possession.

In the second half, the home side extended their lead as defender Najjarine made no mistake to score from a penalty in the 48th minute.

Nejmeh should have swelled their lead further three minutes later but Mondal again saved Moghrabi's shot before Diop rattled the East Bengal crossbar in the dying moments of the match.

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