Basundhara Kings started the AFC Cup in brilliant fashion as they thrashed Maldivian football club TC Sports Club 5-1 in the opening game of Group E at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka.
Argentine striker and Lionel Messi's former teammate for the Albicelestes Hernan Barcos was the hero of the hour for Basundhara. The Argentine scored four goals to help his side win the match by such a huge margin. The other goal was scored by Basundhara skipper Daniel Colindres.
Basundhara dominated the game on their home pitch from the very start. It took them only 18 minutes to score and it was a foreign connection which brought them the goal. Barcos scored the first goal from Costa Rican recruit Colindres' assist and the hosts were 1-0 up.
But their lead lasted only three minutes as Ismail Easa scored to bring TC Sports back into the game. But just like Basundhara, their joy was short-lived too as Barcos scored his second goal five minutes later. This time, it came from Biplu Ahmed's assist and Basundhara ended the first half ahead on 2-1.
Ismail scored again for TC Sports in the 53rd minute but that goal was disallowed. Surviving the scare, Basundhara became ruthless. Barcos completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot on the 67th minute and Colindres then scored the fourth goal from Bishwanath Ghosh's assist.
In the first minute of the stoppage time, Barcos put the last nail in TC Sports' coffin as he scored his fourth goal and increased the margin to 5-1.
The match was thoroughly dominated by Basundhara as they had the better possession and took 17 shots at goal compared to TC Sports' 13. Among their nine shots on target, Basundhara managed to score five which helped them to kick off the campaign in a brilliant manner.
The other two sides are India's Chennai City FC and Maldives' Maziya SRC. Basundhara will face Maziya SRC in their next game of the AFC Cup on April 15, 2020, at the Maldives.