DUSHANBE, April 11, 2013, Asia-Plus -- Defending champions Kuwait Sports Club cruised into the last 16 of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup after their maintained the perfect record in Group A of the AFC Cup with a 5-0 trouncing of Tajik side Regar-TadAZ on Wednesday, AFC’s website reports.

Regar held out for nearly an hour before the floodgates opened with Issam Jemaa’s opener in the 58th minute.  The Tunisian striker would add a second in the 71st minute before goals by Rogerinho (Rogério de Assis Silva Coutinho), Abdulhadi Khamees and Chadi Hammami affirmed the home side’s superiority at the Kuwait SC Stadium.

With the victory, Kuwait SC moved up to 12 points, six ahead of second-placed Al Riffa of Bahrain and eight ahead of Lebanese side Safa with only two games remaining.

“We were not convincing in the first half although we controlled the match and we were the better side.  But we failed to score from the chances that we had and we had to create a lot of chances in the second half,” said Kuwait SC coach Marin Ion.

“The first goal in the second half was the key to the win and it helped us to score four other goals and we also created a lot of chances. The win tonight was very important because we continued our good run in the competition.”

Kuwait SC were 3-1 winners in the match at Khujand City last week and they completely controlled the first half at their home ground but could not find a way past goalkeeper Farhod Yuldashev.

The closest that they came to breaking the deadlock in the opening period was a header by Jemaa in the 24th minute that got past Yuldashev but was cleared off the goal line by Sardorbek Eminov.

The visitors continued to frustrate the home side in the second half but the introduction of substitute Khamees would prove crucial.

On 58 minutes, Abdullah Al Buraiki’s cross from the left found Khamees who chested the ball down for Jemaa who made no mistake from close range with a powerful shot.

Jemaa would then net his and Kuwait SC’s second, heading into the unguarded net after Khamees had made a fine run and gone past Daler Shomurodov before centering the ball towards the Tunisian.

Rogerinho made it 3-0 in the 75th minute with a fine solo effort and Khamees then took advantage of a defensive error by Shomurodov five minutes later to steal possession and score with a powerful shot.

With eight minutes left, Hammami rounded off the scoring, heading home a cross from the left by Abdullah Al Buraiki.

“We had a great performance in the first half and we were successful in our plan,” said Regar coach Mahmadjon Habibulloyev.

“However, the concentration of the players went down in the second half which gave the upper hand to Kuwait SC who scored five goals.”

“Our chances to advance from the group are not good but the good thing is that we got a lot of lessons from the AFC Cup this season and we gained a lot of experience by playing against different teams from Asia.  This will definitely help us in the future.”