The Tribhuwan Army head coach also lamented the ‘short height’ of his squad as they conceded thrice from corners.

On Wednesday, Bengaluru FC beat Tribhuwan Army FC in the second preliminary round of the 2021 AFC Cup at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim, Goa. After the match, TAFC head coach Nabin Neupane spoke to the media.

Bengaluru FC outfit ran amok in the second half, as braces from Rahul Bheke and Cleiton Silva, along with a goal from iconic striker and captain Sunil Chhetri, smashed their Kathmandu-based opponents.

The Blues were in control right from the word go but found it hard to break down a stoic visiting side. “We played very well in the first half”, said Neupane. “We were successful in maintaining a compact defensive shape and created one or two chances through counter-attacks.”

The match ended goalless at the break, though Bengaluru came out all guns blazing in the second half, scoring all five of their goals within the next 20 minutes.

Nepal Army Club particularly came up short in set-pieces, conceding three goals from corners alone. Nabin Neupane attributed his team’s shortcomings in those situations to a shorter height of his squad.

“In the opening five to 10 minutes of the second half, they turned the tide,” said the 41-year-old tactician. “They took advantage of their height and scored three goals from corners.”

The Nepalese side was eventually undone by a dominant second-half performance from Bengaluru, though Neupane feels it was a valuable learning curve for his side.

“We gained some good experience of playing against a top-level ISL side like Bengaluru FC,” he concluded. The Blues will now take on the winner of the forthcoming Abahani Dhaka-Eagles game in the next qualification round of the AFC Cup.

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