Thinley Namgay

The under (U)-20 men’s national football team will face Bangladesh today in the ongoing Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-20 Asian Cup in Bahrain. 

The nation rejoiced on Saturday when the boys defeated Nepal 2-0 at the Sheikh Ali Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Stadium in a highly competitive game.  

This was one of the few occasions where the men’s team defeated Nepal over the years.   

Striker Sonam Jugdrul Chozang converted a lofted pass from centre-defender Karma Chetrim and scored in the 33rd minute. Karma Chetrim’s long pass created a one-on-one situation with the Nepalese defender.  Their goalie was out of the goal line and Sonam chipped the ball over. 

Winger Karma Tashi Jamtsho doubled the lead one minute into the second half. Striker Sonam Jugdrel Chozang flicked the ball to the left side and the beautifully-timed volley was capitalised by Karma Tashi Jamtsho.   

Coach Ngawang Jampel said the game against Nepal was intense.  “But our defenders were composed. They showed 100 percent effort. It’s a big moment for Bhutanese.”

He said that every match was important and the team remains focused. “We will not be carried away by the win on Saturday.” 

Bhutan is placed in group B with Qatar, Bahrain, Nepal and Bangladesh.  Bhutan will play against Qatar and Bahrain on September 14 and 16, respectively at the same venue.  

If the U-20 teams win the tournament, they will represent the country at the 41st edition of the 2023 AFC U-20 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan from March 1 to 18 along with the top 15 teams from Asia. 

The U-20 AFC tournament has teams from 44 countries divided into 10 groups. The tournament will end on September 18.