ATK Mohun Bagan made short work of the Sri Lankan super league winner Blue Star SC with a 5-0 verdict in the preliminary leg of the AFC Cup here at the Salt Lake Stadium on Tuesday.
Finnish midfielder Joni Kauko and Manvir Singh shared four goals while David Williams found the net once to realise the comfortable win for ATKMB.
The win saw ATKMB sail in to the play-off stage where it will meet the Bangladesh club, Abahani Club at the same venue on April 19. The winner of that play-off will gain a ticket to the group league stage.
Playing in front of a 25000 strong crowd for the first time after the merger, ATK Mohun Bagan faced a resolute Blue Star, which initially defended staunchly to keep the home attackers from finding the target.
The ATKMB attack found its way through in the 24th minute when Kauko finished an assist from Manvir with a powerful grounder.
This started the goal fest as Manvir capped a fine solo effort to double the lead in the 29th minute. Kauko added his second from a penalty in the 39th minute after Blue Star defender Prince Boadu handled the ball inside the box.
Mohun Bagan continued to hold sway after the break but had to wait till the 77th minute to find the fourth goal, when Manvir set up David Williams with a fine cross and the latter made no mistake with the tap in.
Manvir rounded off the scoring in the 89th minute when he finished a fine through pass from the team’s French play-maker Hugo Boumous.
The result: ATK Mohun Bagan 5 (Joni Kauko 24, 39-pen, Manvir 29, 89, David Williams 77) bt Blue Star SC 0.