Howrah:Mohun Bagan failed to convert their chances as Al Kuwait SC rode on a Samer JAS Almartah strike to register a 1-0 win in their Group D AFC Cup match at Howrah Municipal Corporation Stadium here on Tuesday.
The local giants clearly dominated the first-half with a better ball possession but the visitors were quick to acclimatise themselves to the hot and sultry condition as they bounced back through Almartah in the 61st minute.
The Kuwaitis thus kept their slate clean with seven points from three matches to remain on the lead spot, while Mohun Bagan remained on the bottom of the table and are yet to open account from three matches.
A freekick in the 60th minute set the ball rolling for the Kuwaitis when Ishfaq Ahmed brought down the opponents' striker Farag Laheeb right on the edge of the box.
From the freekick the ball reached Samer JAS Almartah who was marked by Deepak Mondal but the Kuwaiti defender scored the winner when he converted it through a delightful right back heel.
Down 0-1, the Karim Bencherifa coached side tried their best in the second-half but they simply lacked in penetration.
If their captain Bhaichung Bhutia was to be blamed for missing a golden opportunity in the first-half, Ishfaq Ahmed wasted another sitter in the 76th minute as the local side failed to make use of the home advantage.
Earlier, in an intense first-half, Mohun Bagan dominated and got a couple of easy chances.
Finding it difficult to adapt to the hot and sultry condition here, Kuwait SC clearly paled in comparison and were struggling to get the possession.
In what appeared the best chance before the break, Bhaichung missed a sitter early into the match as the captain failed to capitalise on a sheer defensive lapse from the visitors.
Lack of coordination among the Kuwait SC defenders saw Fahad Homoud not in place as Bhaichung got the ball possession in front of the goalmouth. In fact, Kuwait SC's custodian Musam Alkandri too was not in the frame when Bhaichung launched his shot only to see the ball go over the net in the 12th minute.
Jose Ramirez Barreto did not have a happy outing in the first 45 minutes as the Brazilian recruit, who is known for his cool composure, lost his temperament when he was engaged in a scuffle with Kuwait SC defender Yousuf Zayed.
The match was halted for about four minutes as there was a heated exchange and few exchange of blows; Marcos Pereira and Bhaichung too got into the fray as the AFC officials had to rush in to pacify the matter.
Incidentally, Barreto and Zayed escaped the punishment from referee NG Chiu Kok who flashed Marcos a yellow.
Mohun Bagan tried their best to go one up but they lacked in finishing touches, even as Kuwait SC defenders found it difficult to adjust early.
Barreto was brought down near the edge of the box just ahead of the half-time but Marcos failed to convert the freekick in the 45th minute.
Ishfaq missed another opportunity when he shot wide from the boxm, seconds before going into the break.