With the 10-0 thrashing at the hands of Palestine on October 10, Bhutan is eliminated from the AFC Asian Cup 2019 despite two matches remaining.
Bhutan stood no chance. Palestine came confident with the 2-1 win over Oman, who is placed four places above it in the FIFA rankings.
On the other hand, Bhutan had suffered three consecutive losses in the qualifiers including the loss to Oman, and the latest loss to Palestine 0:3 at Changlimithang.
This time the goals rained at the Dora International stadium in Hebron on the side of Bhutan.
Palestine and Oman qualified for the AFC Asian Cup 2019 from the group while Bhutan and the Maldives were eliminated.
In the post-match press conference Bhutan’s coach, Torsten Spittler said that the opponent team played as expected.
“I was not able to answer the question that asked us about the win. I already knew that it couldn’t be possible. The situation is difficult as a coach. The opponent’s players are tall, they are too fast and we can’t simulate the situations,” the coach said.
The German coach, Torsten Spittler took over the national squad on October 1 last year. The national squad staged an improved performance beating Bangladesh 3-1 in the second leg of the AFC Asian cup second round qualifiers at home in Changlimithang the same month.
After defeating Bangladesh, Bhutan entered the list of 24 teams to compete in the third qualifying round of AFC Asian Cup qualifiers that would place Bhutan among 14 teams to play in the AFC Asian Cup at the United Arab Emirates in 2019, if qualified.
However, the team’s victory over Bangladesh that showed the stronger side of the team did not prove well especially while playing away games in the third round of the qualifier. With only two away matches played this year, Bhutan failed to register a single goal and point in the group table.
Bhutan played the first match of the third round of the qualifier against Oman on March 28 at Muscat, Oman. However, Bhutan’s level of performance could not match the level of the play in the final round of AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. The team faced physically strong, fast-paced and professionally sound opponents.
Despite Bhutan’s preparations and training for the start of the final qualification round, the national squad conceded huge humiliation after they suffered 14-0 hammering from the Omanis in Muscat.
After a humiliating loss to Oman, Bhutan hosted the Maldives at home on June 13, only to suffer the second consecutive loss at the hand of the Maldives that made Bhutan’s chance to stay in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers slimmer.
Torsten Spittler said that playing at home gave some advantage.
“If it’s going abroad, I am even sorry for my players but it’s just too much for them. They are fighting, they are trying their best but they are not able to handle this situation.”
Bhutan plays Oman at home next month and visit the Maldives next year for the last two matches of the qualifiers.