Bengaluru rout Paro FC 9-1 to enter AFC Cup 2020 play-off round

Reigning Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) champions Bengaluru FC put on a scintillating attacking display to beat Paro FC 9-1 in the second leg of their 2020 AFC Cup Preliminary Stage 2 clash at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Striker Deshorn Brown grabbed a hat-trick while Semboi Haokip did one better and scored four goals on the night. The result, coupled with Bengaluru’s 1-0 triumph in the first leg, means the Blues finish as 10-1 aggregate winners and thus, enter the 2020 AFC Cup play-off round.

The Blues were off to a flying start with Semboi, who scored the only goal in the reverse fixture, handing them the lead in the sixth minute after Erik Paartalu found him with a delightful pass over the Paro defence.

Adding to their misery in the 14th minute was Juanan, who jumped highest from a Francisco Borges corner to hand his side a two-goal advantage. However, just a minute later, Paro halved the deficit, with former Blues man Chencho Gyeltshen breaking the defensive line and unleashing an absolute bullet of a shot past Prabhsukhan Singh Gill in the Blues goal.

The Hero ISL 2018-19 champions, though, were hardly rattled and kept up their attacking verve. It paid off in the 26th minute, with Semboi heading in Borges’ terrific cross to restore his team’s two-goal advantage. Three minutes later, there was further joy in store for the Bengaluru fans as Brown powered his way past the Paro defence and hammered home a brilliant drive to make 4-1 to the Blues.

Carles Cuadrat’s men went into half time with a three-goal advantage to their name.

Seven minutes after the restart, Harmanjot Khabra released Borges, who cut the ball back for Brown to score his second and Bengaluru’s fifth goal on the night. Four minutes after the hour mark, Brown earned his hat-trick, as Kean Lewis picked out Brown completely unmarked in the Paro box. Brown’s finish was as accomplished as his performance on the night, making it 6-1 in the Blues’ favour.

Having grabbed his treble, Brown turned provider in the 66th minute and helped Semboi earn his hat-trick as well. Brown had a free run at the Paro goal but instead of taking a crack himself, Brown cut the ball across for Semboi to tap into an empty neat.

Joining the list of goal-scorers was Borges in the 79th minute, who in doing so, netted his first strike in Bengaluru colours. Semboi played a major part in the strike, as he stopped just short of having an attempt himself and instead laid the ball off for Borges.

The youngster, however, got another opportunity to add to his individual tally in the 85th minute, and did just that to cap off a sensational night for both himself and the club.

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