With the ongoing Samtse Championship about to enter the semi finals round, the race to qualify from the group stage has become tough among the top teams.
The defending national league champions, Transport United FC is on the verge of getting eliminated from the group stage with Ugyen Academy FC and Pran Jaigaon FC closely following the former with seven points. Transport United FC secured eight points despite playing one extra game.
Ugyen Academy FC defeated the host team, Samtse DSA 4-0 yesterday, to level the points with second-placed Pran Jaigaon FC in group A.
With a goalless draw against Pran Jaigaon FC, the champions of Dooars premier League 2018, Transport United could be eliminated from the tournament from the group stage.
Transport United is currently on the top of the group. However, the top spot will be decided when Ugyen Academy FC plays Pran Jaigaon FC in their final group stage match. A draw between the two would knock Transport United FC out.
Transport United saw four of its starting players leave from the club. One among them was midfielder, Dawa Tshering who played SAFF Suzuki Cup last year in Bangladesh with the national squad.
The midfielder is currently with Paro FC and has scored his first goal for his new club in the ongoing Samtse championship.
Paro FC who came second in national league 2018 is leading group B that has two teams from Bhutan and India with four points from two games. Prince FC and Quess East Bengal Academy FC from West Bengal, India closely follows the table with two points each.
Despite holding preparation camps in the capital and Mongar before heading to the championship, Thimphu City FC that finished third in national league 2018 is at the bottom. The team is yet to record the first win in the championship.
In the last two games played against Prince FC and Paro FC, Thimphu City FC shared points with the former after the match ended 2-2. The team, however, lost its second game to Paro FC 1-2 and has only one point.
Thimphu City’s team captain, Tshering Dorji said that the team is taking part in the championship with young and new players and that the training camps helped improve team bonding.
Thimphu City FC has called three players from Rangjung Central School for the championship.
Thimphu City FC will play Quess East Bengal FC, one place above them today. The match between the two will decide the team’s qualification into the semifinals.
Top two teams from group A and B will qualify to play the semifinals that begin from January 23. The champions of group A will play the runners up of group B and vice versa in the second semifinal.