Futsal: They opened the year clinching their first ever Thimphu A-League title this year. After four consecutive unsuccessful seasons, Thimphu City FC lifted their first Thimphu A-League championship earlier in June.

The winning streak continued for the team and in the following month Citizens clinched their first national league title in a dramatic match against rivals Thimphu FC. Thimphu City Ladies also bagged the first Thimphu Women’s league in June.

The club swept almost all the major footballing events this year except for the under-16 championship. City finally capped the brilliant year by winning the National Futsal League against Kuenjung FC yesterday at the Changjiji mini pitch.

After having suffered a 5-2 defeat against Kuenjung in the group round, the finals yesterday came as a payback opportunity for the champions. City dominated the game throughout. Tshering Dorji opened the score-sheet for the Citizens in the first half and finally went on to end the match 4-1 in favour of the Citizens.

Kuenjung FC, known for their exceptional performance in futsal were left overwhelmed by the dominance displayed by City. Skipper Jamyang Gyeltshen of Kuenjung FC said that the confidence of City was at another higher level on the day.

“Almost all the players on the team were from the national team. This made the difference,” he said, adding that this was not an excuse for their loss. “We gave our best against some of the finest talents in the country and we are satisfied with the results.”

Formed in 2012, Kuenjung FC have won 12 trophies so far in different futsal tournaments organised in Thimphu. The team knocked out the defending champions Paro Yuljong in a 10-goal thriller on December 25.

City manager Hishey Tshering said that the win will encourage the team to perform even better in the next season. “Our hard work has been rewarded.”

He said that many consider football and futsal to be similar and that a good footballer will also be a good futsal player. He said football and futsal are two different games although they look similar.

“Futsal requires speed and skills. Recognising the importance of futsal tournaments will go a long way in helping players gain essential skills that could be used in football games,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Citizens resume their training next week for the upcoming season also to prepare for the AFC Cup preliminary round. City will also be taking part in the 12th Gold Cup Challenge Football Championship in Sukna, Darjeeling, India as a part of the training session.

“It is easier to win than to defend your title,” said Hishey Tshering.

Younten Tshedup