Goals from Boithank Haokip (27'), Daniel Lalhimpuia (54') and Thongkhosiem Haokip (62') gave Bengaluru FC a comfortable 3-0 victory over Bhutanese club Transport United in the second-leg of the AFC Cup 2018 qualifiers at the Sree Kanteerava stadium on Tuesday.
Albert Roca brought in Juanan Antonio as Bengaluru started with two foreigners compared to just one they had fielded in the first leg. Daniel Lalhimpuia continued to lead the line as a striker with Lalthuammawia Ralte preferred in goal once again.
The home side started the game much more brightly this time around as they dominated the possession stats. Boithank Haokip looked lively on the left flank and delivered some dangerous crosses but the hosts were guilty of squandering some great chances through a combination of poor finishing and some excellent goalkeeping by Gurung.
Roca’s men finally got their first goal over two legs in the 27th minute after some excellent work from Thongkhosiem Haokip down the right. The attacker got to the right byline before sending in a floated cross and Boithank rose highest to head the ball in for his first Bengaluru goal.
The home side created a few more opportunities but their lack of finishing let them down as they went into the half-time interval with a one-goal lead.
Bengaluru stepped up a gear post the interval and doubled their advantage in the 54th minute when Thongkhosiem won possession just outside the box. Daniel latched onto the loose ball and his long-range effort sneaked in under a diving Gurung.
The provider turned goal-scorer a few minutes later after right-back Harmanjot Khabra found him with a beautiful reverse ball and the attacker made no mistake as he slotted the ball past a hapless Gurung.
The Blues could have added a few more goals to the scorecard but some frivolous finishing saw Transport United escape with just a three-goal defeat ultimately.
With this win, Bengaluru FC have confirmed their spot in the South Asian Zonal play-offs for the AFC Cup 2018.