… the team needs at least 4 goals without conceding any

Thinley Namgay

Dragon Boys will attempt to seize a chance to land a spot in the group stage when they face Hong Kong today in the second leg of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu at 6pm.

Bhutan needs a convincing win to proceed to the group stage against Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Iran. If Bhutan settles for a draw by any number of goals, Hong Kong will be selected based on away goals.

Hong Kong defeated Bhutan 4-0 on October 12, despite decisive play by Bhutan in the second half.  For Hong Kong, a draw against Bhutan is sufficient to qualify.

In the 2015 qualifiers, Bhutan lost to Hong Kong 7-0 and 1-0, respectively in away and home matches.

Coach Pema is hopeful of today’s game considering altitude and home advantage.   Pema plans to ensure a pressing game unlike in the first round.  “I analysed five matches of our opponent and we have planned accordingly.”

Pema said the players are confident and only a few changes have been made to the squad that played in the first leg.

Captain Chencho Gyeltshen said the away game is challenging for any team and the boys aim for the best.  “Our boys are excited. We have to be focused and press harder from the beginning. We can do it as a team.”

Hong Kong’s coach Jorn Anderson said, “We are happy to be in Bhutan. We want to qualify for the group stage.”

Acknowledging Bhutan’s goalie Hari Gurung, he said the air condition and artificial pitch might challenge his players.  His tactic is to attack more.

Captain Yu Jesse Joy Yin said the team is prepared to handle away games and the pressure from the spectators.  “We came here to win. We have been playing with the same energy so far, be it in a home or away match.”