Al Kuwait took one step towards a place in the AFC Cup final after a 4-2 win in the first leg of their semi-final with East Bengal.
The Kuwaiti champions scored four times in 48 minutes against their Indian counterparts to take control of the tie, although two second-half away goals kept East Bengal’s hopes of progression alive.
Tunisian striker Issam Jemaa was again the star for Al Kuwait, the 29-year-old scoring a double in the first half, with Waleed Ali Jumah and Chedi Hammami also finding the net.
However, strikes from Uga Okpara and Seminlen Doungel reduced the deficit for East Bengal.
Jemaa, who had scored seven goals in the last round against New Radiant, opened the scoring after 17 minutes, before Jumah doubled the lead 14 minutes later.
Al Kuwait were in total control, and they soon added a third as Jemaa took his tally for the competition to 15 with this second.
And the game looked to be over as a contest three minutes into the second half, as midfielder Hammami extended the lead further.
But East Bengal refused to lie down, and they duly clawed their way back into the game as they rallied, with Okpara scoring midway through the second half before 19-year-old striker Doungel netted two minutes from time.
The return leg will be played in Kolkata on October 22.