Orgyen Wangchuk Tshering’s lone goal from the spot against the defending champions Nepal yesterday in the U-18 SAFF championship gave Bhutan its second win in as many matches.
The boys pulled off a laudable performance against the tournament’s favorites, Nepal who were playing their first match in the tournament.
Bhutan is placed second after Bangladesh who continued their winning streak defeating the Maldives 2-0 at Changlimithang stadium yesterday.
The Bhutanese team needed more rest time as the boys began to fall with cramp which possibly contributed to midfielder Tashi Tobgay replacing Karma Sonam in the 36th minute.
But Nepal could not capitalise on the advantage of the match being their first and the time they had to study Bhutan’s game plan against the Maldives.
Coach Song Jun Lee said, “With support from the audience, they performed well. The boys need more experience to perform better. We have the opportunity this time but every game is a challenge for us with strong teams taking part.”
The match was fast and pressing as Nepal began to pressurise from the start. While stopping the fast-paced set pieces, the threat on the home team came from the free kicks and crosses from the flanks. However, the backline led by skipper Chimi Tshewang thwarted all efforts to score.
The Bhutanese side is also the only team with a clean sheet so far.
The first attempt on goal for Bhutan came in the 10th minute while Tenzin Namgay’s attempt from the 18-yard box was punched out for a corner kick by the goalie. It ended goaless in the first half.
Bhutan broke the deadlock in the 57th minute when Nepalese defender Asim Bhusal tackled on Orgyen Wangchuk Tshering and handled the ball inside the box. Orgyen Wangchuk Tshering lashed in his second goal of the championship from the spot.
Nepal’s coach Chirring Lobsang said the team played a good game. “We got a lot of chances but they could not use them.”
He said, “Football is developing and Bhutan has a good team.”
Despite playing Nepal several times after the first international friendly match in 1982, Bhutan could never beat them. Yesterday, the U-18 team made history.