Marco Pezzaiuoli’s managerial reign at Bengaluru FC (BFC) was off to a convincing start, with an easy 5-0 victory over Nepalese side Tribhuvan Army FC in the 2021 AFC Cup Preliminary Stage Two clash at the GMC Stadium, in Bambolim, on Wednesday.
A brace each from Rahul Bheke and Cleiton Silva, and a goal from skipper Sunil Chhetri, ensured BFC’s passage into the playoff stages of the continental competition, where it will meet either Abahani Dhaka Limited (Bangladesh) or Club Eagles (Maldives).
After a goalless first half, BFC came out all guns blazing in the second. Bheke nodded home a corner from Silva six minutes after the break to put BFC 1-0 up. Moments later, a scramble in the box saw the ball fall to Chhetri, who slotted home to double the advantage.
For the third, Chhetri flicked the ball to the Silva and the Brazilian shrugged off his marker, rounded the goalie and then buried the ball into an empty net just after the hour mark. Two minutes later, Udanta Singh managed to wriggle past three players on the right flank and found Bheke, whose cross into the area was brought down by Silva and finished on the turn.
Moments after the fourth, Silva’s corner was turned in, once again by Bheke, for the fifth goal of the evening.
The game also saw Damaitphang Lyngdoh’s make his debut after being introduced in the 75th minute. The Meghalaya-born midfielder became BFC’s youngest-ever player.
The result: Bengaluru FC 5 (Bheke 51, 65, Chhetri 52, Silva 61, 63) bt Tribhuvan Army FC 0
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