Bhutan will face Palestine in the third group stage match of the AFC Asian Cup qualifier at Changlimithang Stadium today.
Palestine, leading the table with six points, will test the home teams’ resilience at Changlimithang Stadium where Bhutan beat Sri Lanka more than two years ago and shocked the football world.
The local team officials said they remain hopeful of a win.
Bhutan’s head coach, Torsten Spittler said that the team prepared well for the match.
“We’ll see a good match and a good result. We are confident that the game won’t be easy for them. With the support of home crowd and ground advantage, I hope we have a chance to get a good result.”
“All the players are fit. We are expecting a tough game against the physically strong team. We trained our players according to the situation. The team has improved a lot since the last game against the Maldives. We never know what will happen but for sure it will be a different game,” said the coach.
The national team Captain, Karma Shedrup Tshering said that the players are motivated and prepared for the game.
“We’re playing on home ground and had more training sessions. We’ll try our best and get a good result. However, as we’re on the bottom of the table every game is a challenge and losing is never easy for us,” he said.
The national coach said that the game will see new faces included in the squad. “They were doing well in the training. They’re ready to play,” he said.
Palestine coach, Abdel Nasser Barakat said the game is very important. “We’ve six points in the group and we’ll do our best to continue leading this group. Hopefully, it’ll be a good match for both teams,” he said.
“We expect that it is not an easy game for us. The game is on their ground and with the great fans, we need to take it seriously. We’ve to give our best. We’ve good team on the bench and in the starting too. Hope the result will be a win for us,” said the coach.
It was a difficult start in Oman, losing (0-14) in the first game of the qualifier in March.
Bhutanese national squad made a huge improvement in the second group stage match at home to the Maldives in June losing only (0-2).
Palestine is undefeated in the group with two consecutive wins over Oman (2-1) and the Maldives (3-0).
The Palestinians arrived in the country on September 2 after the end of their six-day training camp in Indonesia. The team underwent a one-hour training session at Changlimithang Stadium yesterday.
The match kicks off at 6PM.