Football: Bhutan lost its third match of the second round of the World Cup qualifiers by its largest margin so far, to Qatar, yesterday.
It was evident that Bhutan was clearly outmatched, both physically and technically, from the start of the match.
While the national team’s coach, Norio Tsukitate, had told the team to try to prevent a goal in the first 15 minutes of the game during his pre-game briefing, Qatar managed to get their first goal in the seventh minute.
The flood gates opened in the 17th minute, with goals finding the Bhutanese net in the 19th, 23rd, 24th, 26th, 37th, 40th, and 44th minutes.
Bhutan got a lone opportunity to score in the 25th, but striker Chencho Gyeltshen, failed to find the net with a grounder going wide by a very small margin.
The deluge of goals could not be stopped in the second half and Qatar’s several attacks in the first five minutes of the half resulted in taking its lead to double digits.
The Qatari team continued to decimate the national national team’s defence resulting in goals being scored in the 56th, 62nd, 63rd, 69th, 75th, and 87th minutes.
Despite the onslaught of goals, a visibly undaunted national team persisted in their efforts and another rare goal opportunity for Bhutan surfaced in the 77th minute, but left winger, Biren Basnet’s shot on goal sailed above the Qatari post.
Striker Chencho Gyeltshen also attempted to boot it in from long range in the 85th but the ball flew wide.
The game ended with Bhutan down 15.
In the post game conference, the Qatar coach, Jose Daniel Carreno, said that they did not expect a 15-0 final score. He added that after the third goal, the Qatari team sought to score more goals so that they can top the table.
Hong Kong currently tops Group C after holding China to a goaless draw yesterday, followed by Qatar in second place. China is in third place, followed by the Maldives, which has played two games but lost both.
National team coach, Norio Tsukitate, said that the objective was to score at least one goal. He said that he had asked the players to go out and attack but that most of them had remained behind to defend. He said that the team should have scored at least one goal.
However, coach Norio said that the national team players had given their best effort and that more practise is required.
A small but very vocal group of Bhutanese supported the national team throughout the game with chants and songs.
An outpouring of support for the national team was also evident on social media.
The national team returns on Sunday.
The match was played at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Oatar.
Bhutan plays Maldives next month at Changlimithang stadium.
Younten Tshedup in Qatar and Gyalsten K Dorji in Thimphu