New Delhi: Dempo failed to qualify for the AFC Cup quarterfinals after suffering a 3-1 defeat to Kuwait Sports Club in their round of 16 match in Kuwait City on Tuesday.
Dempo, without key defender Mahesh Gawli — booked out of the match — was the second best team for most part of the single-leg pre-quarterfinal match at the Kuwait SC Stadium.
Syria international midfielder Jehad Al Hussien exposed the weakness of the Dempo back four with a hat-trick to take the former AFC Champions League side to the quarterfinals of the continent’s second tier club competition.
Dempo’s Nigerian striker Ranty Martins was shown the red card for protesting against the stoppage-time penalty as he had already received a yellow card in the 62nd minute.
Kuwait SC opened the scoring when it was rewarded a penalty after Dominic Noronha fouled Al Hussien inside the area and the Syrian international made no mistake from the spot.
The Kuwaiti side continued to dominate in the second-half and should have doubled its advantage five minutes after the break but with only goalkeeper Abhijit Mondal to beat, Al Hussien failed to find the target.
Two minutes later, Ranti could have equalised but his long range effort after beating two Kuwaiti defenders was saved by Khaled Al Fadhli.
Kuwait SC doubled its lead just before the hour mark when Al Ateeqi’s corner was headed in by Al Hussien.
Down by two goals, Dempo pressed hard and was rewarded 17 minutes before regulation time as John Dias’s cross was converted by da Silva’s first-timer.
But Al Hussien restored the two-goal cushion and completed his superb night in the third minute of stoppage-time when he converted from the spot after he again was fouled inside the area. — PTI