Bhutan’s impressive success in international football

In the history of Bhutanese football, the national U-23 team secured its highest success – laying the final with Nepal in the South Asian games held in Kathmandu this week. Despite the loss, the success was impressive.

Bhutan’s national team settled for silver medal but the team won hearts of thousands of Bhutanese and football fans alike. Bhutan had lost its first meeting with Nepal in the tournament. 

Nepal won the game by 2-1 but under heavy pressure in their home ground and huge domestic supporters.

In a highly contested game, Abhisek Rijal broke the deadlock in the 17th minute to give Nepal an early lead, but skipper Chencho Gyeltshen grabbed the equaliser in the 37th minute reigniting home for Bhutanese team. It was almost a shock for experienced Nepal team and their huge crowd. 

Sunil Bal’s perfect cross in 54th minute to double the lead and sealed off the match in favour of Nepal. 

Except the game against Nepal, team Bhutan beat Bangladesh 1-0, Maldives 2-1, and  Sri Lanka 3-0.

Team captain Chencho Gyeltshen and Chimi Dorji scored two goals each while Phub Thinley, Dawa Tshering and Yeshey Dorji scored one each.

This is the fourth time Nepal’s under-23 team has won the title after holding three titles in 1984, 1993, and 2016.

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