Twenty-four-year-old mid fielder, Purna Kumar of Transport United scored the fastest goal of Pepsi Thimphu League against Tensung FC when his club played the sixth game of the season in Changlingmithang on May 24.
Transport United humbled debutant Tensung FC 5-0 to keep the championship race alive against current league leaders Thimphu City FC to single point difference.
The striker duo, Kencho Tobgay and Olayemi Victor Bakare, scored their second goals for the club. Kezang Wangdi scored his first at the 87th minute. The match also saw Purna Kumar score a brace. The midfielder was named man of the match.
Goalkeeper Hari Gurung collected his third clean sheet after 5-0 win over Tensung FC. Transport United defeated Drukstars 1-0 in the previous game and won against Thimphu FC 3-0 on the first day of the league.
On May 24 Sanatan, left-winger of Transport United from India, found Purna Kumar in the 14-yard box with a long cross from the left flank after beating Tensung FC’s defender Yeshi Dorji two times.
The midfielder’s left footed finish to the left corner kept the goalkeeper clueless. The shot found the back of the net at the 26th seconds making it the fastest goal ever scored in the league.
“I am excited that I could score fastest goal of the league. It was a good game and we played new formation with new starting list,” Purna Kumar said. “We hope to continue the same with the remaining fixtures.”
However, with the new clubs’ performance in this edition of the league, he said the championship title is open and undecided.
Purna Kumar’s fastest opener broke the previous earliest record, scored within one minute by Tshering Wangdi of Thimphu City against FC Tertons last year.
Unlike other local talents that featured in the national tournaments and international matches as academy players, Purna Kumar Pradhan found his way into football as a futsal player from Kuenjung FC.
After winning about 19 major futsal tournaments in the country with Kuenjung FC, the 24-year-old first played with Druk United FC in Thimphu league 2016.
Druk United came as runners up in both national and Thimphu league in the same year. The mid fielder claimed that he was never missed out from the starting list while playing with Druk United.
It was coach Ngawang Dhendup, the then Druk United coach, who introduced the boy to football.
Futsal club based in Thimphu, Kuenjung FC, has now become a pool for the local clubs to bring in new talents. Like Purna Kumar, there are some players who found their way into local clubs. The recent one includes Sonam Wangyel of Thimphu City FC.
When Transport United returned to Thimphu League in 2017 after eight years of the club’s downfall, Purna Kumar switched his club to Transport United. Less than a year with the club, the midfielder was called for the national squad.
Today, the player has about three international appearances against Palestine, and the Maldives and one Asian Football Confederation Cup appearances against Bengaluru FC.
In his three years of journey with football, Purna Kumar has one champions title of national league 2017, one runners up title of national league, and two a runners-up title of Pepsi Thimphu league 2016 and 2017.
“Coach Ngawang Dhendup and my futsal team Kuenjung FC made my football journey possible. I was only a futsal star before,” said Purna Kumar.