Bengaluru march on into AFC Cup group stage

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Bengaluru are through to the group stage of the 2018 AFC Cup after beating TC Sports 5-0 to claim an 8-2 aggregate win in the South Asia zone playoffs.

Toni Dovale got the Indian giants on their way at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium with a left-footed screamer from outside the box after 12 minutes, before doubling his and his side’s tally with a close-range finish in the 35th minute.

A minute later, Erik Paartalu made it 3-0 with a sensational dipping half-volley from all of 30 yards to effectively end the contest.

However, Bengaluru refused to take their foot off the pedal after halftime and Dovale completed his hat-trick three minutes after the restart, as he was once again left with a simple finish after perfectly timing his run into the box.

And, in the first minute of injury-time, the rout was completed by Rahul Bheke, as he added a fifth from close range after TC Sports failed to clear their lines from a corner.

The win means Bengaluru will now take their place in Group E alongside compatriots Aizawl, Maldivian outfit New Radiant and Dhaka Abahani of Bangladesh.

Photo credit: Bengaluru FC