Football: FC Tertons defeated Sheikh Russel Krira Chakara of Bangladesh in a seven-goal thriller to advance into the preliminary stage of the playoffs yesterday at the Changlimithang Stadium.

After a disappointing start in the qualifiers from all the three participating teams, FC Tertons, the host for Group C, dominated the final game.

The must win game for Tertons after a goalless draw against Tatung FC of Taipei was achieved in style when the  2015 national champions defeated Sheikh Russel 4-3.

Chencho Gyeltshen scored a brace for his team in the 18th minute from a through-pass from defender Tenzin Dorji. However, the lead was short lived as a free kick from skipper Jamal Bhuyan was successfully converted into an equaliser by striker Jean Jules Ikanga three minutes later.

It was Tenzin Dorji who rose to the occasion and delivered Tertons their second goal in the 29th minute. The defender headed in a volley that was kept alive by Tshering Wangdi inside the box.

Goals were flowing freely from all directions for the Tertons. Six minutes later, Tshering Wangdi capitalised on a loose ball when the Bangladeshi goalie, MD Rasel Mahmud, could not clear it to safety.

In the 41st minute, a through-ball was again delivered to Chencho Gyeltshen by Thinley Dorji, which the striker neatly struck it into the Bangladeshi net.

FC Tertons dominated a good part of the first half. However, Sheikh Russel hit a penalty shot in the 57th minute which was easily cleared by Hari Gurung.

Desperate to come back in the match, Sheikh Russel pushed forward. The team’s effort paid off when Shakhawat Hossain Rony who missed the opportunity from the spot earlier scored his first in the 66th minute.

Jean Jules Ikanga grabbed his second in the 70th minute.

However, the Tertons managed to stop Sheikh Russel from unleashing further damage. The Bhutanese team finally managed to find their game on their home ground. For the first time, the team looked confident in the qualifiers.

Three clubs from Bhutan, Bangladesh and Chinese Taipei took part in the qualifiers. The clubs are the champions of their respective national leagues.

Younten Tshedup