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Play-off South: JSW Bengaluru 5-0 TC Sports Club 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Antonio Dovale-Bengaluru

Bangalore: Antonio Dovale was the star as Bengaluru FC cruised into the group stage of the 2018 AFC Cup, defeating TC Sports Club of Maldives 5-0 in the return leg of the South Zone Play-off on Tuesday.

Dovale scored a hat-trick as Bengaluru registered an 8-2 aggregate win, having virtually sealed their place in the group stage after racing to a 3-0 lead in the first half at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.

Dovale needed just 12 minutes to put his team ahead, finishing great Bengaluru interplay by unleashing a scorcher from 30 yards out into the top right corner of the TC Sports Club net.

The Maldives club had staged a great comeback in the first leg, drawing level after going 2-0 down only to lose 3-2, but there was to be no fightback in the second leg.

Dovale widened Bengaluru's lead in the 35th minute when he rifled home from close range and TS Sports Club found themselves 3-0 down straight from the restart as midfielder Eric Paartalu, spotting goalkeeper Ibrahim Nadheem Adam off his line, lobbed home from 35 yards out.

That's that from the Fortress! The Blues are through to the Group Stages of the 2018 @AFCCup. #BENvTCS #WeAreBFC

— Bengaluru FC (@bengalurufc) February 20, 2018

Three minutes into the second half, Dovale was at the end of a Bengaluru counter-attack, slotting home from close range.

There was to be another blow for TS Sports Club as Alaaeldin Nasr Elmagraby was sent off in the 61st minute.

Bengaluru completed a great night for them when Rahul Bheke scored off a corner in second half added on time.

Bengaluru FC, the 2016 runners-up, advance to Group E alongside Aizawl FC, New Radiant and Abahani Limited Dhaka. They open their campaign against fellow Indian side Aizawl on March 7.