* Favourites Kitchee FC down JDT to go top of Group F
* Balestier Khalsa edge Bengal FC 2-1
Favourites Kitchee FC served a Spanish delight through their imports Juan Belencoso and Jordi Tarres to run out 2-0 winners over Malaysian Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim in a Group F match in the AFC Cup at the Mongkok Stadium in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
It was JDT’s first defeat after three matches while Kitchee remained unbeaten from the same number of matches. JDT beat Indian champions Kingfisher East Bengal 4-1 in their first match at the Larkin Stadium before edging past Balestier Khalsa 1-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
Kitchee FC, on the other hand suffered a hiccup with a 1-1 draw against East Bengal in Kolkata in their second match after defeating Balestier Khalsa 3-0 in their opening match.
With the win over JDT, the Hong Kong outfit are now on top of Group F with seven points while JDT dropped to second with six points while Balestier Khalsa got their first points with a 2-1 win over East Bengal at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
At the Mongkok Stadium, JDT were lucky to have lost only 2-0 on a night when the visitors were without their foreign players – Argentine striker strikers Luciano Figueroa and Jorge Pereyra Diaz through injury while Singaporean Hariss Harun sat out the match to serve a one-match suspension for two yellow card offences. The only foreigner in action was towering Brazilian defender Marcos Antonio.
Kitchee got things going their way when Spaniard sent a delightful glancing header past JDT keeper Farizal Marlias on 27 minutes. JDT were still struggling to cope with the Kitchee onslaught when Farizal was beaten again – this time it was Jordi Tarres who drilled home a stiff grounder past a fallen Farizal who had come off his line.
JDT tried to get back into the picture but skipper Safiq Rahim and Amri Yahyah muffed scoring chances that came their way.
Balestier Khalsa scored through Jonathan Xu and Croatian striker Miroslav Kristic before Nigerian Dudu Omagbemi pulled one back for East Bengal late into the match.
RESULTS AFC CUP (GROUP F) March 17
Balestier Khalsa (Spore) 2 Kingfisher East Bengal (Ind) 1
Kitchee FC (Hkg) 2 JDT (Mas) 0