Defeating debutant Paro FC 2-1 in the last match of BoB national league 2018, Thimphu City FC denied Paro FC the national league title in their debut appearance yesterday.
Paro FC was close to winning the championship after beating Transport United both home and away this edition. However, the visitors were short of a point to win the league.
The result helped the national league title remain among the clubs from Thimphu since 2014. The only club, away from Thimphu to win the national league was Ugyen Academy FC that finished above Yeedzin FC in 2014.
An opener from the Brazilian and the winner from Chimi Dorji who was left out of the squad in the previous game against Ugyen Academy FC helped Thimphu City FC finish third this edition.
Leading the club in the two editions of the national league, Ngawang Dhendup, Transport United’s coach has won the league twice and also won both Thimphu league and the national league this year.
Transport United is the first team to win the title twice and the first to defend the national title since the league began in 2012-13. And the fourth club after Druk United, FC Tertons and Thimphu City FC to win both Thimphu league and National league since 2013.
Ngawang Dhendup said the club was confident to win the league with better points. “However, we could not secure expected points. This edition was the toughest edition ever. Clubs from outside Thimphu played strong,” he said.
The last two matches of the league were important for Transport United FC, Paro FC and Ugyen Academy FC to win the league. They were separated only by one point and Paro FC had more chances and needed only a draw to seal the championship.
Paro FC’s coach, also the former national goalkeeper, Pushpalal Sharma led the team and it was his first time as the coach in the premier football competition. He won the runners-up spot in his debut.
Pushpalal Sharma said the league’s condition was not favorable for the club outside Thimphu to secure better results. “Only six players from Thimphu league were allowed to start. Every time we played the game, we were using three or four players who did not have any game exposure. However, the boys played a very good game.”
Despite sharing equal chances to score and to bring the result in their favour, Ugyen Academy FC suffered 4-3 disappointments in the final game yesterday.
Transport United displayed noticeable dying minute performance, scoring an equaliser and the winning goal in the final minutes.
The opener and leader came from a stunning free kick from Transport United’s winger, Dawa Tshering and the team settled for a comfortable first half.
Dawa Tshering was named the most valuable player of the league and his teammate Kencho Tobgay won the highest scorer award, scoring ten goals.
Conceding the least goals in the league, Thimphu City’s goalkeeper Ngawang Jamphel won the best goalkeeper award.
Chimi Tshewang who made his national league debut with Ugyen Academy FC was named emerging player of the league. The player captained the under 18 national team in SAFF championship last year.
The champions, Transport United FC won Nu 1 million cash prize, the runners-up team Paro FC won Nu 500, 000 and the second runner-up, Thimphu City won Nu 200,000. The winners were awarded medals and trophies.
Thimphu FC won fair play award.