Bhutan’s overwhelming start in the first international tournament ended at the hands of its neighbour, India yesterday losing 3-0.

While India registered the first win, the defeat is the first loss for the home side.

India’s coach Floyd Pinto said that the match was not easy for his team.

“The match was tougher than the score line. I was surprised by the Bhutan’s play. I did not expect Bhutan’s performance to be in this level as per my first experience with the team in the previous championship. I was prepared to take the win by 1-0.”

“We started the game well and continued to play till the end. This resulted to our win. If we have ever created a mistake in the game, the home team could have given a different result today,” said the coach.

After securing two consecutive wins over the Maldives and Nepal, the home team gathered the highest number of spectators. More than 5,200 spectators consisting of supporters from both the sides turned up for the match.

While Bhutan played three matches in the past five days, India got an extra day to recover from their shocking loss to Bangladesh 3-4 and prepare for this game.

The result was evident in the slow game, players losing control and passes going astray unlike the previous matches.

Bhutan’s coach Song Jun Lee said that the match was tough.

“Boys were tired and it made the game tougher. Individually their players were good. Speed, skills and physique, and our players need to have the same to reach their level. We need to play the usual game and practise more to perform better,” he said.

Indian coach made four changes to his side. India’s chance of finding an opener came in the 33rd minute but Edmund Lalrindika blew away the penalty kick over the cross bar.

However, Lalawmpuia scored five minutes later to end the first half 1:0.

With the home side focused on defending, the lone striker, Nima Tshering placed in the front hardly saw the ball. The match ended 0-3 with India scoring another two goals in the second half.

Goal keeper Karma Sonam Tenzin said that the result was unexpected. “We knew that the game would be tough but I did not expect 3-0 result.”

Meanwhile, Nepal won the first match of the championship against the Maldives 2-0. Bhutan will now face Bangladesh in the final match on September 27. After three matches, Bhutan remains in second place after Bangladesh.