National U-15 boys bid farewell to the ongoing fifth edition of South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) U-15 championship after losing both group stage matches to Pakistan and India in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Bhutan played India yesterday to win a last semi-finals spot after Pakistan thrashed both Bhutan and India scoring four goals against Bhutan and two goals against India on the championship’s opening day.
A win from the final group stage match was the only chance for Bhutan and India to continue playing the championship. However, the latter won the last semi-final spot after overcoming Bhutan with 4-0 win yesterday.
The championship was the first tournament Atushi Nakamura led after he took over the role as academy coach earlier this year. The coach came in place of Song Jung Lee who helped Bhutan finish fourth in the previous edition of the championship.
The official from Bhutan Football Federation said the team’s performances were good considering the circumstances of youth football and the exposure. “The level of men’s football is comparatively high.”
There were only three players that played the championship before.
The host Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India qualified to play the semi finals this edition.
However, U-15 boy’s performance in the SAFF championship is recorded as poor among the youth teams that took part in the regional championship this year.
The team trained for more than seven months to participate in the tournament.
Atushi Nakamura’s record stands at two losses in two games.
The squad was selected from the annual youth selection camp held in Gelephu. The team has no fixed squad to represent the country. The players of the current squad will have to undergo selection trial next year.