Thinley Namgay 

Druk Lhayul FC will face 2021 Bhutan Premier League  (BPL) champion Paro  FC in the final of the first Coronation Cup today at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu today.

In the last two games against each other in the  league round, Lhayul drew Paro 1-1 and 0-0.

Lhayul booked the final place after beating Thimphu City FC 1-0 on May 31. On May 27 and 29, Lhayul defeated Transport United FC 2-1 and drew against Paro FC 0-0.

Paro had already grabbed the opportunity to feature in the  final despite conceding a 3-0 loss against Transport United FC on May 31.

The four clubs contended in a league format tournament that began on May 18.  Each team played twice against each other.

After completing the league round with six games each on May 31, Lhayul and Paro acquired nine points each.  Thimphu City FC and  Transport  United FC managed seven each.

All the teams won two games each. However, Lhayul and Paro FC were in an advantageous position as they drew three matches each.

Lhayul’s coach, Kinley Tobden, said: “The journey was not easy, not only for us but also for the other clubs.  It was very difficult, especially when it comes to recovery.”

“We all played back-to-back matches. My boys have delivered what we promised after our first defeat of the championship against Thimphu City FC,” Kinley Tobden said, adding that he was blessed to have a good squad at a crucial time when his key players were injured.

He said his team aspires to win but it’s never easy to play against Paro FC. “For today’s game, other than the individual preparation, both mentally and physically, controlling the excitement of the squad is very vital.”

Kinley Tobden said Paro FC was consistent throughout this championship, except for the last match of the league round.

Paro FC’s president Karma Jigme said the final would be tough. “We were not expecting to reach the final, as the tournament came with ad-hoc announcement.”

He said after Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup in April, Paro’s players were on break and had to call them back and participate without proper training.

“We are glad that we reached the final of the first edition of coronation championship, I guess this is mainly due to AFC preparation,” Karma Jigme said.

BPL qualifier begins this month. Ten teams will contest for the six spots to qualify for the BPL.