AFC Cup: Bengaluru thrashes Transport United, makes playoffs

The home side dominated Transport United in front of a sparse crowd at Sree Kanteerava Stadium, eventually registering a 3-0 win.

Bengaluru FC’s Haokip Thongkhosiem tries to score a goal at Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Tuesday.   -  G. P. Sampath Kumar

Bengaluru FC (BFC) squandered chances aplenty, but still managed to record a 3-0 victory over Transport United in the second leg of their AFC Cup preliminary stage tie here on Tuesday. The victory gave BFC a spot in the playoff round, which will be held in a couple of weeks.

Faced with a must-win situation against Bhutan club Transport United, BFC brought Juanan and Harmanjot Khabra back to the starting line-up, while retaining the core of the young side which was held to a goalless draw in the first leg. Sunil Chhetri - the trump card, to be used in case of an emergency - was kept on the bench.

The home side dominated Transport United in front of a sparse crowd at Sree Kanteerava Stadium here, waltzing into the rival's area at will.

Chances galore

BFC’s finishing, however, left a lot to be desired. In the first-half alone, around seven chances – most from point-blank range – were fluffed. Alwyn George, Nishu Kumar and Daniel Lalhlimpuia all wasted sitters, even as Transport United goalkeeper Hari Gurung pulled off several fantastic saves. Two reflex stops with an outstretched leg – to deny George and Nishu – showed Gurung to be of the highest class.

Read: East Bengal holds Minerva 2-2

The breakthrough came in the 27th minute, when Thongkhosiem Haokip delivered a cross to Boithang Haokip. The lanky Boithang placed his header wide of Gurung and into the goal. Lalhlimpuia and Thongkhosiem then found the net in the second-half, but BFC’s shockingly poor conversion rate in the final third persisted.

A thoroughly overmatched Transport United, on the other hand, had just the solitary opportunity to get on the scoresheet. A free-kick from Thinley Dorji stayed on target, but did not possess enough venom to trouble the BFC goalkeeper, Lalthuammawia Ralte.

BFC Head Coach Albert Roca explained, "We had so many chances, it’s a shame that we scored only three goals. It was poor. The difference in quality between the two sides was big, but the scoreline does not reflect it."

The result

BFC 3 (Boithang Haokip 27, Daniel Lalhlimpuia 54, Thongkhosiem Haokip 62) bt Transport United 0.

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