Bhutan is preparing for the biggest group stage match against leader Palestine on September 5.
Bhutan suffered two consecutive losses in the AFC Asian qualifier. After a defeat to Maldives at Changlimithang, the boys were hammered by Oman 14-0 at Muscat on March 28.
The National coach, Torsten Spittler, said that the huge loss against Oman is a one-day happening. “I am still confused. I don’t remember what has happened in the match against Oman,” said the coach.
“The situation has become difficult for us. Palestine is a physically strong team and they have the height advantage. We have to prepare… We are aware of the situations and will work against it,” said the coach.
“We can always look back to the game against the Maldives and Bangladesh. We have improved a lot and that’s how we step forward. We have a young team with good game exposure. I am confident that they have learned from the past mistakes,” Torsten Spittler said.
There are seven new players. Chuma Dorji and Sonam Gyeltshen of Ugyen Academy FC, Kinley Tenzin, Kinley Penjor, Dawa Tshering, and Purna Kumar of Transport United has made to the national squad.
“They were selected based on their performances in the BOB National League. I am confident that at least one or two of them will make it to last sixteen. Players should come forward and perform. The door to the national squad is open,” said the coach.
He said that the nation should be happy about the team playing the group stage and facing a professional team. “We are not going close to what we have conceded in Oman. But we need to keep in the mind the team we are facing. We hope for the best but we are not sure about the outcome,” said the coach.
Going by the performance of the two in the last five games, Bhutan has a draw and a win against Bangladesh in AFC Asian qualifier in 2016, lost three matches against Maldives and Oman in Asian qualifier in 2017, and to India in the international friendly in 2016.
While Palestine has a good performance this year with two international friendly wins against Yemen and Bahrain, two wins against Oman and the Maldives in AFC Asian Qualifier, and a draw with Lebanon in the international friendly in 2016.
Bhutan’s current FIFA ranking is at 165th while Palestine’s ranking is at 93rd.