Bengaluru FC failed to take their chances as they played out a 0-0 draw against Transport United in the first leg of the AFC Cup preliminary qualifier at the Changlimithang National Stadium in Bhutan on Tuesday.
As expected, Albert Roca shuffled his cards for the first leg, fielding Daniel Lalhimpuia up front. Toni Dovale also started the game, with Lalthuammawia Ralte guarding the net. Academy product Prashant Kalingha made his debut for the Blues.
It was a messy start to the game with both sides failing to keep the ball in their possession for long periods in the first half. The visitors seemed to deal with the turnovers in midfield better, as Toni Dovale influenced proceedings early in the game. A teasing cross into the box by Dovale in the 7th minute that striker Daniel Lalhimpuia failed to connect served as a warning to the home side's defence.
Transport United slowly settled into the game and threatened to take the lead twice after the half-hour mark. A 25-yard free-kick was kept out by goalkeeper Lalthuamawia Ralte and a few minutes later, a delicious cross into the box from the left missed everyone inside the box.
Daniel Lalhimpuia missed two glorious chances to give visitors the lead after the restart. Dovale's cross towards the far post was blazed wide twice by the striker as Blues looked to up the tempo of their game.
The impressive Toni Dovale whipped in a free-kick into the path of Lenny in the dying stages of the game but his effort flew wide as Bengaluru and Transport United played out a goalless draw.
The second leg will be played at the Kanteerava Stadium on January 30, 2018.
Bengaluru FC XI: Lalthuamawia Ralte(GK), Subhashish Bose, Nishu Kumar, Prashant Kalinga, Zohmingliana 'Zotea' Ralte, Lenny Rodrigues, Malswamzuala, Boithang Haokip, Toni Dovale, Alwyn George, Daniel Lahlimpuia