East Bengal bring in reinforcements for AFC Cup semifinal
Japanese midfielder Sueoka, who was injured in their quarterfinal away leg fixture to Semen Padang, has been ruled out for two months and East coach Marcos Falopa opted for Cavin Lobo who was also recovering from an injury.
East Bengal on Friday added Cavin Lobo and Harmanjot Singh Khabra in their 19-member squad for the AFC Cup semifinal first-leg away fixture against defending champions Kuwait SC on October 1 after midfielder Ryuji Sueoka (in pic) was ruled out of the match due to injury.
Japanese midfielder Sueoka, who was injured in their quarterfinal away leg fixture to Semen Padang, has been ruled out for two months and coach Marcos Falopa opted for Lobo who was also recovering from an injury.
"He's gaining fitness and on our part, we are doing our best to make him available as we need to be prepared in the best way possible. Let's see how he shapes up," the 64-year-old Brazilian said.
Asked about their opponents who are seeking a record third AFC Cup title, Falopa said, "Kuwait SC are a very strong side and even stronger when playing at home.
"At times, it becomes difficult for the visiting side to even play out a draw against them. They tend to make excellent use of the home conditions."
East Bengal are the only unbeaten side among the AFC Cup semifinalists as they would look to become the only Indian club to make it to the final.
The 19-member squad and seven officials, including coach Falopa, will leave for Kuwait tomorrow evening.
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Abhijit Mondal. Defenders: T Naoba Singh, Uga Okpara, Arnab Mondal, Gurwinder Singh, Saumik Dey, Robert Lalthalmuana. Midfielders: Reisangmi Vashum, Mehtab Hossain (captain), Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Cavin Lobo, Lalrindika Ralte, Alvito D'Cunha, Shylo Malsawmtluanga. Forwards: Edeh Chidi, James Moga, Joaquim Abranches and Baljit Singh Sahni.