East Bengals chances of progressing to the next round of the AFC Cup received a further jolt as they were blanked 0-2 by Iraqi outfit Arbil SC in a Group B match here on Wednesday. The Kolkata team suffered their third successive loss in the tournament having been beaten 0-1 by Al Orouba of Yemen and 0-3 by Kazma of Kuwait in their earlier two group matches.
Playing under scorching heat and humid conditions,the Iraqi outfit struggled to get going in the first half. They kept the slate clean with a defensive strategy as the first 45 minutes saw them acclimatise to unfamiliar conditions before striking twice in the second half.
The Iraqi outfit scored the opener in the 76th minute when a Amjad Radhi header from a cross by Nadim Sabag set the ball rolling.
Their Syrian recruit Abdelrazaq Al Hussain completed the tally with a brilliant solo effort in the 90+3rd minute. With two draws and their first win today,Arbils AFC Cup campaign returned on track as they have five points from three outings.
Yet to open their account,East Bengal remained at the bottom of the group standings. The two teams meet in the return leg in Arbil on April 10.