Kuwait City: Kuwait Sports Club will take a slender advantage into the second leg of their AFC Cup quarter-final against Muang Thong United after Rogerinho's 75th minute goal was enough to edge past the Thais at Kuwait SC Stadium. The home side had to withstand long periods of pressure from the visitors before Rogerinho (Rogério de Assis Silva Coutinho) pounced with a quarter of an hour to go.
While many had expected the 2009 AFC Cup champions to dominate at home, it was Muang Thong that were on top for much of the first-half as they crafted a number of threatening attacks.
The first real chance fell to Muang Thong striker Christian Kouakou after 19 minutes but the Ivorian took too long to make up his mind when one-on-one with the Kuwait SC goalkeeper and his shot was eventually blocked by a defender.
The same player had another great opportunity in the 22nd minute when he rose to meet a cross but his header flew agonisingly the wrong side of the post.
The Kuwaiti side were largely restricted in the first-half with long-range efforts from Brazilian Rogerinho the closest they came to breaking a resolute Muang Thong defence.
Kuwait SC manager Dragan Talajic made two substitutions at the break with Abdulla Al Buraiki and Ali Al Kandri both introduced and the changes worked as the Thai team were gradually forced back and the Kuwaitis began to gain the upper hand.
The Muang Thong players, led from the front by 36 year-old Robbie Fowler, appeared to tire in the second-half, dropping deeper and attempting to hit Kuwait SC on the counter attack.
The home side began to create more chances and in the 75th minute were rewarded for their efforts when Rogerinho scored the winner.
Substitute Al Buraiki delivered a cross from the wing and the ball fell to the Brazilian to lash in one of his trademark strikes.
In the final fifteen minutes the Kuwaiti side had a number of chances to increase their advantage for the return leg but poor finishing means the tie remains in the balance. The best opportunity fell to Al Kandri in the 88th minute when he was put clear but was unable to get a shot away.