Reigning Foreign Player of the Year Rogerinho opened the scoring and provided the assist for tournament leading scorer Issam Jemaa as three-time champions Kuwait Sports Club retained the 2013 AFC Cup title with a 2-0 win over fellow Kuwait Premier League side Al Qadsia on Saturday.
Al Qadsia had edged a cagey first half at Peace & Friendship Stadium only for Brazilian Rogerinho to open the scoring in spectacular fashion seven minutes after half-time with his seventh goal of the campaign.
And four minutes after the hour mark Rogerinho’s persistence paid off and Tunisian striker Jemaa was presented with a simple finish to take his AFC Cup tally for the season to 16 as Kuwait SC, who also won the title in 2009, became the first side to win the tournament for a third time.
Following a cagey start, Al Qadsia were unlucky not to open the scoring after 17 minutes as Omar Al Suma saw his towering header from close to the penalty spot crash into the face of the upright with Kuwait SC goalkeeper Musab Al Kandari well beaten. The conservative nature of the contest continued as the half progressed until Kuwait SC striker Waleed Jumah flashed an effort from a tight angle across the face of the Al Qadsia goal 13 minutes before half-time.
Al Qadsia, though, did finish the half strongly as Mesad Al Enzi guided a 34th minute free-kick narrowly over the crossbar with the home side managing to keep Kuwait SC’s attacking duo Jemaa and Rogerinho quiet for the majority of the opening 45 minutes.
But just seven minutes into the second half Rogerinho drove unchallenged towards the Al Qadsia penalty area, and with the home defence backing off, the Brazilian unleashed an unstoppable 30 yard strike which viciously swerved away from the despairing dive of goalkeeper Nawaf Al Khaldi. The goal brought the game to lift as Rogerinho then drew an unconvincing save from Al Khaldi four minutes later before Kuwait SC survived a scramble inside their penalty area just before the hour mark as Al Qadsia pushed for an equaliser.
But four minutes after the hour mark Rogerinho dispossessed Al Qadsia defender Khaled Al Qahtani on the edge of the penalty area following a hopeful ball forward, and after charging towards goal, the Brazilian squared the ball for Jemaa to fire high into the net from just outside the six yard area. Al Qahtani almost made amends for his mistake eight minutes later only for the defender to see his header back across goal acrobatically pushed away by Kuwait SC goalkeeper Al Kandari.
Kuwait SC again rode their luck with 11 minutes remaining as defender Fahad Al Reshidi had to be alert to clear Saif Al Hashan’s effort off the line with Al Kandari out of position.Published 03 Nov 2013, 21:00 IST