Haji Agus Salim Stadium,Padang
24th September 2013
Kolkata giants East Bengal travel to Indonesia to take on Semen Padang in the second leg of the AFC Cup 2013 quarterfinals after having registered a narrow 1-0 win over their rivals at home. The match saw East Bengal waste a number of easy chances while the Indonesian club also gave a good account of themselves coming close on a couple of occasions.
Team News And Tactical Brief
The current Indonesian champions played well in Kolkata and had luck been of their side could have scored a goal or two. Coach Jafri Sastra sounded confident that despite the loss that his side would be able to win the reverse leg in front of a vociferous home crowd which is indeed likely to act as the 12th man for the home side.
26 year old Jandia Eka Putra is expected to start under the bar while experienced Cameroonian defender David Pagbe is expected to lead the back-four. At 34 years, Pagbe is still going strong and will be entrusted with keeping Chidi under check. He is likely to be accompanied by 24 year old Saepulloh Maulana in the heart of the defense. Novan Setya and Hengky Ardiles are expected to do duty on the flanks for the Indonesian champions. South Korean defensive midfielder Yoo Hyun Goo is expected to sit in front of the defense line and along with breaking up East Bengal’s play, he will look to trouble Gurpreet with his long range shots as he did int he first leg
The highly rated 23 year old Vendry Mofu is expected to start as a play maker and his duel with Mehtab Hossain could well decide the course of the game. Skipper Elie Aiboy and Muhammad Nur Iskandar are likely to complete an attack oriented four man midfield with the 34 year old Aiboy on the right flank. Argentine midfielder Esteban Vizcarra is another option that coach Jafri can utilize in this match. Iskandar, who impressed against Churchill Brothers in the group stages, troubled the East Bengal defense in the first leg along with strikers Titus Bonai and Edward Junior Wilson. Wilson scored a hat-trick against Churchill Brothers in the group stages and will undoubtedly carry the hopes of a lot of Semen fans in this match.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Jandia Eka Putra; Hengky Ardiles, David Pagbe, Saepuloh Maulana, Novan Setya Sasongko; Elie Aiboy, Yoo Hyun Goo, Vendry Mofu, Muhammad Nur Iskandar ; Titus Bonai, Edward Wilson Junior
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu is expected to continue in goal despite the return of experienced goalkeeper Abhijit Mondal from an injury. Gurpreet gave a good account of himself in the first leg and will have to be on his toes in what is likely to be a hostile second leg for the Kolkata giants. Uga Okpara and Arnab Mondal form arguably the most experienced and disciplined central defense pairing in I-League and the duo will be entrusted with the task of keeping Edward Wilson Junior and Titus Bonai under check. Noaba Singh on the right and Saumik Dey on the left will be expected to help out in attack in addition to their defensive duties. With East Bengal likely to attack down the flanks, the duo will be important to Falopa’s plan.
Injuries to Cavin Lobo and Harmanjot Singh Khabra means that East Bengal have made the away trip with just two recognized central midfielders and should Falopa decide to play 5 midfielders as was the case in the later stages of the first leg, either of Ralte, Vashum or Abranches will have to play in the center. Skipper Mehtab Hossain is likely to lead the East Bengal midfield and the gusty midfielder will be up against the creative duo of Muhammad Nur Iskandar and Vendry Mofu both of who troubled the East Bengal defense in the first leg. Lalrindika Ralte is expected to continue his impressive work on the left flank while Vashum is expected to take his place on the right. Ryuji Sueoka who scored the winner after coming off the bench in the first leg, is expected to start in the center of the park and his creativity will be essential for East Bengal’s attacks.
Chidi Edeh is a sure starter upfront and the Nigerian hitman will be eager to get on the score sheet after he displayed a below par performance in the opening round. James moga was largely anonymous in Kolkata is likely to be dropped in favor Joaquim Abranches who looked sharp after coming on as a second half substitute. Abranches ‘s ability to play anywhere in the midfield and the forward line offers Falopa with a lot of options should he decide to switch between formations in the match.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Naoba Singh, Uga Okpara, Arnab Mondal, Saumik Dey; Vashum, Mehtab Hossain, Ryuji Sueoka, Lalrindike Ralte; Edeh Chidi, Joaquim Abranches.
Player To Watch Out For
Edward Wilson Junior (Semen Padang)
The 28 year old Liberian striker, who was linked to Mohun Bagan in summer, will undoubtedly be the key man for Semen Padang. Wilson has scored 9 goals in the tournament so far and showed glimpses of his talent in Kolkata when his shot hit the post. He also dropped back to help his team in midfield. Wilson has scored an impressive 61 goals in 86 goals for Padang and playing in familiar conditions, he will be the biggest weapon for the Indonesian side.
Lalrindika Ralte (East Bengal)
The Lal-Holud brigade cannot afford to sit back and defend their one goal lead and will need to go forward and look for an away goal and it is here that left winger Lalrindika Ralte becomes crucial. The young winger can trouble the best of defenders with his pace and skills and is the best source of attack for the Kolkata team. Ralte had a good first leg and will look to carry on his form into the second leg as well. Having been ignored by national team coach Wim Koevermans, Ralte will be gunning to prove a point.
Semen Padang 2-1 East Bengal
The home side is a clear favorite to win this watch given the crowd support they are likely to enjoy in this match. However East Bengal have been in splendid form throughout the tournament and are likely to get a away goal which may prove crucial in the end.