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AFC Cup Preview: East Bengal v Semen

Semen want to make use of away advantage when they meet East Bengal in the first leg of the AFC Cup quarter-finals.

Jafri Sastra’s team have lost just once in 16 games during their domestic campaign, and top the Indonesian Premier League by seven points, and will look to take that domestic form into the match at the Salt Lake Stadium on Tuesday.

Semen will look to Liberian forward Edward Junior Wilson to provide the attacking impetus, the 28-year-old has scored 17 goals in the league this season.

The match will be the second in a run of three games in as many days for the Indonesian outfit, with league fixtures away to Arema and Persiba Bantul sandwiching the East Bengal tie.

Semen have had a near flawless AFC Cup campaign thus far.

They topped Group E by winning five and drawing one of their six fixtures, to comfortably qualify as leaders.

They followed that with a 2-1 victory over Vietnamese side SHB Da Nang in the round of 16, courtesy of goals from Wilson and Vendry Mofu.

East Bengal have yet to begin their I-League campaign, with their domestic season not due to begin until September 27 when they welcome Mohammedan.

The two-time I-League champions are looking for their best ever performance in the AFC Cup, having previously reached the quarter-finals in 2004.

New manager Marcos Falopa – who replaced previous incumbent Trevor Morgan in June – is challenged with the task of maintaining the team’s good form in the tournament.

They too were undefeated in the group stages, having won four and drawn two of their matches.

And they reached the last eight with a comprehensive 5-1 rout of Malaysian side Yangon United.

Sun 15 September, 2013
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