Bengaluru, Bengaluru FC romped into the playoff round of the AFC Cup with a resounding 9-1 (10-1 on aggregate) win over Bhutanese side Paro FC at the Kanteerava Stadium here on Wednesday.
Hat-tricks from Semboi Haokip (6′, 26′, 67′ and 85′) and Deshorn Brown (29′, 54′ and 64′) and goals from Juanan Gonzalez (14′) and Nili Perdomo (79′) saw the Blues cruise past Paro and set up a clash with Maldives side Maziya S&RC for a place in the group stages.
The win was also the biggest in the Blues’ history, eclipsing the 7-0 win over DSK Shivajians in April 2017 when Bengaluru were part of the I-League.
Bengaluru had the perfect start when Haokip, who had scored in Thimphu, latched onto a long ball from Erik Paartalu and then made the most from a fumble by Paro goalkeeper Tobgay, to stab home and give the Blues a lead in the 6th minute.
Juanan soon made it 2-0, sending home a firm header after Nili Perdomo swung in his take from the corner in the 14th minute. Just when the Blues seemed to be cruising, Paro struck through Chencho Gyeltshen. The former Bengaluru player picked the ball in the box, beat Gursimrat Gill with a drop of the shoulder and shot past Prabhsukhan to make it 1-2 in the 16th minute.
But Bengaluru stuffed out any hopes of an improbable comeback when Haokip scored his second (26′) of the night, and Deshorn Brown made in 4-1 in the 29th minute.
In the second half, the Blues took off from where they left and both Haokip and Brown got their hat-tricks. New signing Nili Perdomo too joined the party with a smart finish in the 79th minute to make it 8-1.
Haokip then bagged his fourth of the night, slotting past Tobgay in the 85th minute to complete the rout.
Bengaluru will now travel to the Maldives for the first leg of the playoff fixture on February 19 before hosting Maziya on February 26 for the reverse leg.