Indian giants East Bengal will face defending champions Kuwait SC in the first leg of their AFC Cup semi-final clash on Tuesday at the Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium in Kuwait on Tuesday night. Having reached the semis for the first time, the Kolkata club will look to 'bring home' an advantage after the first-leg. The match will be played at 10pm IST.
The lead up to match has been jittery with the Indian club's preparation marred by visa issues and administrative mismanagement. Three East Bengal players, Arnab Mondal, Mehtab Hossain and Gurwinder Singh could not travel with the squad to Kuwait on time after their visas arrived late. The trio just got a day to acclimatize. The visitors have also accused the local organizers of apathy after under-par facilities were provided to them. East Bengal have registered a complaint with the Asian Football Confederation.
Another big blow for East Bengal is the absence of dynamic striker Japanese Ryuji Sueoka, who injured himself in the second-leg quarterfinal against Semen Padang. Sueoka will be replaced in the starting XI by Sudanese James Moga, who scored the winner against the Indonesian side. East Bengal will look up to Moga and Chidi Edeh (in pic) to score the crucial 'away' goals.