Bengaluru FC have qualified for the final AFC Cup qualification playoff-tie with a 5-0 win against Nepal's Tribhuvan Army FC on Wednesday to get new coach Marco Pezzaiuoli's reign off to an emphatic start.
Interestingly, all five goals came in the second half with braces from Cleiton Silva and Rahul Bheke and one from skipper Sunil Chhetri.
Gabonese centre-back Yrondu Musavu-King made his debut for the club, but neither he nor his partner in the middle of the defence, Juanan Gonzalez were troubled by the Nepalese outfit.
The first half was eventful, even if goalless.
Tribhuvan Army made their first foray into the BFC box in the 13th minute, which ended with Gurpreet Singh Sandhu making a regulation save. Tribhuvan skipper Nawayug Shrestha almost created another opening down their left flank but Bheke's well-timed sliding tackle stopped him in his tracks.
Chhetri had BFC's best chance, but Tribhuvan goalkeeper Biwash Chaudhary saved his shot -- and the subsequent rebound from left-back Ashique Kuruniyan.
The goal glut started in the 52nd minute when Bheke headed BFC ahead off a Silva corner. Moments later, Chhetri pounced on a loose ball in the box to make it 2-0.
Then, Silva got his goals. Chhetri played the ball through to the Brazilian, who eased past his marker, rounded the keeper and calmly passed it into an empty net to make it 3-0. Less than a minute later, Udanta Singh skipped past several markers and found Bheke. The right back's cross was controlled by Silva, and finished on the turn. '
Bheke added BFC's fifth goal in 13 minutes when he headed in Silva's corner once again.
BFC kept possession for the remainder of the game, spurning a couple of chances along the way, to close out a dominant second half performance.
After the match, Pezzaiuoli would say that it was important the team was very patient when the score was 0-0, and expressed his happiness in the team finding accuracy in the final third in the second half.
BFC will face one of Abahani Dhaka Limited (Bangladesh) or Club Eagles (Maldives), in their playoff clash, scheduled to take place at the same venue.