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Group E: Bashundhara Kings cruise past TC Sports Club

Dhaka: Hernan Barcos scored four and Anisur Rahman saved a second half penalty as Bangladesh’s Bashundhara Kings made a winning start to their 2020 AFC Cup Group E campaign on Wednesday with a 5-1 victory over TC Sports Club from the Maldives in Dhaka.

Barcos netted a pair of headers in the first half before claiming another two goals in the second half while Rahman denied Ismail Easa from the spot to earn Oscar Bruzon’s side all three points in the Group E opener at Bangabandhu National Stadium. Daniel Colindres was also on target for Bashundhara Kings.

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Former Shanghai Shenhua striker Barcos had threatened as early as the 10th minute when he started and almost finished a move down the right in tandem with Daniel Colindres, only to see his shot at goal blocked.

There were no such problems in the 18th minute, however, as Bashundhara Kings took the lead. Biplo Ahmed had seen his attempt blocked by goalkeeper Saqib Hanif but, when Colindres swung the ball back into the penalty area, Barcos rose to power his downward header home.

The Kings’ lead was to last just three minutes, though. Ali Ashfaq was upended on a rare sortie into the Bashundhara penalty area and, although Ismail Easa’s attempt from the spot was saved by Rahman, the striker scored on the rebound.

Bashundhara went on the attack and, by the 26th minute, they were back in front. With Colindres having already missed an opportunity to restore his side’s lead, Barcos was on hand again to net for the hosts after Ahmed stepped inside the TC Sports Club defence before setting up the 35-year-old to score with another header.

Focus switched to Rahman early in the second half as the Bashundhara goalkeeper again denied Easa, only for referee Shuan Evans to order his spot-kick to be retaken. The decision mattered little, however, as Rahman dived to his left to further frustrate Easa and maintain the home side’s lead.

From there, the Bangladeshi side cantered to victory. Barcos converted from the spot in the 68th minute after Colindres had been brought down in the area and, with 14 minutes remaining, the Costa Rican put his name on the scoresheet with a header after a fine cross from the right by Bishwnath Ghosh.

Barcos completed the rout in the second minute of injury time when he looped the ball into an empty net after Hanif’s attempt to clear under pressure from Colindres went wrong and the veteran forward coolly slotted home.

Bashundhara Kings play another club from Maldives, Maziya Sports & Recreation away on April 14 while TC Sports Club will host Chennai City FC of India a day later.

Photos: Bashundhara Kings

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