With five days left to make her second appearance in the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) U-15 Women’s championship at the Changlingmithang stadium, Deki Lhazom, the only player who managed to score in the previous edition hopes to score more this time.
The 14-year old striker with national U-15 women’s team scored 29 goals, the highest, in the UTH Women’s Super league averaging about three goals a match. Although her team, U-16 Gelephu Academy Girls finished third in the league 2018, she won the highest scorer award.
At 13, last year, Deki Lhazom was the youngest player from the country to score in the international tournaments. “I was shocked to score in the tournament and was happy. I expect to score about three goals this time,” she said.
She said they could have won the first match against India last year. “Less training and weather condition did not favor us. We conceded only in the first half and settled for goalless second half. We hope to finish at top two spots this year.”
Deki Lhazom expects her striker mates Yeshi Bidha and Sonam Lhamo to score in this edition.
The aspiring player is known for her skillful dribbles and striking ability in the attacking front.
Deki Lhazom claimed that she started playing football at the age of seven when she was in class one. She had no female friends to play football with and played the game with boys.
She was the lone player from the country to score a goal in the inaugural edition of SAFF U-15 Women’s championship in Dhaka Bangladesh, last year.
Bhutan took part in the championship along with teams from Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. With Deki Lhanzom scoring at the ninth minute against Nepal, Bhutan was leading the match until the last 10 minutes.
However, Bhutan conceded at the 81st minute to settle for 1-1 draw and won third spot. Bhutan’s 0-3 performances against Bangladesh and the same result against India helped win the third spot through a goal difference.
Top two teams Bangladesh and India went on head to head to clinch the inaugural title of the championship. Host Bangladesh defeated India 3-0 to win the championship.
In the opening of SAFF U-15 Women’s championship on August 9 in Changlingmithang, India will play Sri Lanka, which is playing the championship for the first time. Defending champions, Bangladesh will take on debutant Pakistan the same day.
Bhutan’s first match will be against Sri Lanka on August 11.
The championship this year will play six teams, two more than previuos edition from Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
The championship will end on August 18.
With more than 100 young players taking part in the championship, 25 media houses from South Asia is expected to cover the championship, that Bhutan is hosting for the first time.