Paro FC’s AFC dreams end

Staff reporter

Paro FC’s hope of progressing into the next round of the Asian Football Confederation Cup was dashed to the ground when they were thrashed 9-1 in the return leg of the second preliminary round yesterday.

After losing 0-1 in the first leg at Changlimithang ground, any hopes of qualifying was crushed when Bengaluru FC took an early lead. 

 The Indian Super League champion’s striker Thongkhosiem Haokip scored in the sixth minute and went on to score three more goals. Bengaluru FC’s defender Juanan doubled the lead in the 14th minute spelling trouble for Paro FC.

 Paro FC, much to the hope of thousands watching on TV and a handful of supporters in Bengaluru, pulled one back when Chencho Gyeltshen scored the club’s and his first goal against his former team in the 16th minute. Chencho displayed his individual brilliance to first dribble past Gursimrat and then fire a venomous volley at the top corner beyond the reach of Prabhsukhan in goal. 

 However, any hopes of a competitive match disappeared after striker Haokip restored the lead in the 26 minute. After that it was a rout. Bangaluru’s strike partner Deshorn Brown made it 3-1 in the 29th minute and went on to score a hatrick. The Jamaican national scored in the 54th and 64th minute to secure his hatrick.

 The gap in the two clubs was made apparent and when Nili scored the 9th goal in the 79th minute, the contest was all over.

 Bengaluru FC coach Carles Cuadrat made wholesale changes to the line-up that started in Thimphu in the previous week. Prabhsukhan Gill and Parag Srivas made their debuts for the blues while youngsters like Gursimrat Gill, Suresh Wangjam and Semboi Haokip kept their places. 

 Big names like Sunil Chhetri, Ashque Kuruniyan were rested whereas, Gurpreet Sandhu and Udanta Singh took their places on the bench at the first whistle. 

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