A second string Bengaluru FC missing a couple of their big names had to break no sweat in defeating Dhaka Abahani 1-0 in their opening AFC Cup 2018 Group league encounter, here tonight.
The winner was scored by Daniel Lalhlimpuia in 72nd minute, when his angular right-footer beat custodian Mohamad Sahidul Alam to hit the back of the net. The victory was a creditable one as Bengaluru played without their skipper Sunil Chhetri, prolific Miku and goalkeeper Gupreet Singh.
Abahani almost equalised during the stoppage time when Saad Uddin's right-footed shot sailed over horizontal.
Before that, Bangladeshi outfit made another foray into Bengaluru box in the 82nd minute through Saad, who freed Mohammed Mamun Miah only to find him squander it from close range.
Earlier in 79th minute, Rubel Miya also missed the target after getting a pass from Sohel Rana following a quick break. Bengaluru on the other hand did not push around too much after getting the goal.
In the goal-less first half, Bengaluru were completed dominated by Abahani, who capitalised on the absense of big guns, who were rested, keeping in mind the all important ISL finals against Chennaiyin on March 17.
The hosts got their second chance in 30th minute, which went abegging when Victor Perez right footed shot from outside the box was blocked by an Abahani defender.
Earlier in 27th minute, Daniel Lalhlimpuia's right footed shot from outside the box missed the target. In contrast, Abahani got several chances, but could not convert them into goals. The first one came in 16th minute when Ralte made a good save at the left bottom corner off Seiya Kojima header.
Ralte once again in 36th minute staved off a Kojima left footer diving to his left. In 40th minute, Emeka Onuoha header from a Waly Faisal cross was off target.