Bengaluru: Star striker Sunil Chhetri was among the goal-getters as Bengaluru FC thrashed North Korean side April 25 3-0 in first of the two-legged AFC Cup inter- zone semi-final match on Wednesday.
Chhetri led the charge with a 32nd minute strike before Udanta Singh and Lenny Rodrigues found the target in the 51st and 78th minute to help Bengaluru register an emphatic win in the rain-hit match in front of the cheering home crowd at Sree Kanteerava Stadium.
Heavy rains lashed the stadium an hour into the game and both the teams played under reduced visibility.
Chhetri broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute by converting a penalty kick after Udanta was brought down by the North Korean goalkeeper Ri Kang inside the area.
Chhetri stepped up and sent his shot at the center, which beat Ri Kang, who dived to his right.
Bengaluru scored their second goal through Udanta as the winger sprinted from the vacant right flank into the box and sent a superb left footer into the North Korean net.
Lenny Rodrigues completed the route as he sent the ball past Kang who was blinded by the splash of water on his face.
Chhetri broke away and ran almost 50 yards to cut in and deliver the cross from the left to Lenny who made no mistake.
Chhetri missed a chance to score his second goal in the 42nd minute after Kang, who was off the line, managed to get a finger at the Indian striker's shot for a corner.
April 25 also had their chance in 23rd minute as Ri Hyong Jin sent an accurate free-kick but An Song Il's header hit the crossbar and the ball rebounded back into play.
They also missed an opportunity coming their way to reduce the margin in the 71st minute as Kwon Ch sent a grounded cross but An Il Bom could not connect it properly.
Soon after the half-time break, April 25 got into their act, but the smartness of the Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu saved the situation. Kim Yu Song had beaten three Bengaluru men and was going for a shot from an angle into the goal in 49th minute but Sandhu denied him.
A couple of minutes earlier, Gurpreet had done well to send the ball out of danger after Kim Jong Chol had flicked to An Il Bom, who sent a cross across the goal with all the defenders falling short off pace to get hold of it.
Bengaluru FC will now travel to Pyongyang on 13 September for the second leg match.
Updated Date: Aug 24, 2017 00:29 AM