Bengaluru FC progress to AFC Cup play-off after resounding win over Nepal’s Tribhuvan Army FC
Bengaluru FC registered a 5-0 win over Nepal’s Tribhuvan Army FC in their 2021 AFC Cup Preliminary Round 2 clash at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim (Goa) on Wednesday. They scored all their goals in the second half with Cleiton Silva as well as Rahul Bheke bagging braces and Sunil Chhetri also getting on the scoresheet.
- Rahul Bheke broke the deadlock for Bengaluru FC in the second half before Sunil Chhetri doubled their advantage.
- Cleiton Silva bagged a brace after the hour mark and Bheke also scored a second goal from a corner.
Bengaluru FC began the match on the front foot and dominated the opening period from start to finish. They played majority of the game in Tribhuvan Army FC’s half and had their first real chance in the 20th minute when Chhetri laid off a ball for Cleiton, whose shot was saved by the goalkeeper.
The former Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) champions continued to push and create promising situations near the opposition box. Some nice interplay down the left in the 35th minute nearly resulted in success but the final delivery into the box lacked the desired quality.
Undeterred, Bengaluru FC continued to push and finished the half strongly as Chhetri once again set up Cleiton whose shot was deflected behind for a corner. The Blues had another big chance to score in the 44th minute when a goal-bound effort from inside the box by Chhetri was cleared off the line by Tribhuvan Army FC as both teams headed into the halftime interval without breaking the deadlock.
Disappointed not to be in front at halftime, Bengaluru FC returned to the pitch determined to stamp their authority on the contest and a couple of quick goals seven minutes into the second half ensured they had what they desired.
Their opening goal came in the 51st minute when a corner swung into the box by Cleiton was headed into the back of the net by Bheke. The Blues went on to double their lead the very next minute courtesy of Chhetri, who characteristically found himself in the right area in the box to slot home from close range.
The Blues, in fact, seemed like they could score at will in the second half and got their third of the night when Cleiton was rewarded for his persistence in the 61st minute. The Brazilian beat the opposition goalkeeper to an overhit ball and then rounded another defender before shooting into an empty net.
Cleiton then scored his second and the Blues’ fourth goal of the night two minutes later thanks to a quality finish. This time the Brazilian managed to conjure a snapshot on the half turn to bury Udanta Singh’s cross into the back of the net.
The Blues weren’t done yet though and netted their fifth goal of the night as Bheke followed Cleiton in bagging a brace. Once again, Bheke got on the end of a corner and finished beyond the goalkeeper to make it 5-0 in the 65th minute.
Bengaluru FC were comfortable for the remainder of the game even though a deflected effort by Tribhuvan Army FC could have taken away their clean sheet. The Blues, under Marco Pezzaiuoli for the first time since this appointment, continued playing positively as they went on to secure a resounding win and progress to the play-off.