Thinley Namgay

The Under (U)-20 Bhutan national women’s football team will face Lebanon today in Jordan for the AFC U-20 Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers.

Bhutan is placed in group D against Lebanon, Mongolia and Jordan.

Thirty-one countries will compete for the qualifiers starting today.

Bhutan’s coach, Karma Dema said the preparation for the tournament has been on track. “The training began a day after the tournament in Bangladesh in early February.”

Karma said the players mostly comprise those who went to SAFF championship.  “After the championship in Bangladesh, players became confident and I am hoping an improved performance this time.”

She said that during the SAFF Championship in Bangladesh, Bhutan lacked competent forward players.

Deki Lhazom, who played in Saudi Arabia, has joined the squad as a striker.

“I am optimistic that Deki’s presence will make a difference,” Karma Dema said, adding that Bhutan is playing in AFC Qualifiers for the first time.

However, she said Bhutan and Lebanon have never faced each other.

During the SAFF Championship last month, Bhutan lost 0-12 to India, 0-5 to Bangladesh, and 0-4 to Nepal.  However, Bhutan received a fair play award.

Vice-captain, Sonam Gaki Pelzom, said: “Our performance in the SAFF wasn’t good due to limited preparation.  Most of the players are new to the international games. Now we are better prepared. We will ensure better results this time.”