Vientiane (Laos): Sans their captain and star striker Sunil Chhetri, Bengaluru FC began their campaign at the AFC Cup football tournament on a disappointing note, losing 1-2 to Lao Toyota FC, here today.
Bengaluru FC badly missed the services of Chhetri, who skipped the trip owing to a strained groin, and livewire midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh, who is recuperation from a fracture, as their attacking force lacked the guile and penetration.
The visitors witnessed a disastous start as Japanse striker Kazuo Homma gave Lao Toyota FC the lead as early as in the third minute of the game at the New Laos National Stadium.
The hosts doubled their lead in the 35th minute through a strike from midfielder Phatthana Syvilay to take a 2-0 lead at half time.
Bengaluru FC tried hard to forge a comeback but in the absence of Chettri and Lyngdoh, the Ashley Jackson-coached side lacked firepower in its strike force.
After a series of half chances and misses, Bengaluru FC finally managed to breach the opposition defence when C K Vineeth scored in the 90th minute of the match.
But by then it was too late for the visitors as Lao Toyata FC registered their first victory in the AFC Cup.
Lao, like Bengaluru, was established in 2013 and in three years of their existence have won the Lao Premier League (LPL) once and are representing their nation for the second time in an Asian club competition.
Without a single win, they finished last and were knocked out but remained unbeaten at home, gathering three draws against formidable opposition in the 2015 AFC Cup.