More than 2,500 had gathered at Changlingmithang Stadium in Thimphu on Saturday August 11 when Bhutan’s under-15 women’s football team faced Sri Lanka and won 6-0, the biggest win hitherto.
National women’s team entered the stadium with an advantage of having seen Sri Lanka’s play. The team played the championship before in Bangladesh. Sri Lanka is playing the championship for the first time.
Bhutan controlled the game, pressuring the girls from island nation right after the first whistle.
Bhutan’s Sonam Lhamo proved her worth of wearing jersey number 10 hitting a hat trick. Her teammate in attacking front, Yeshi Bidha, scored a brace. Deki Yangdon scored one.
It took only eight minute for Bhutan to find the opener. Sonam Lhamo’s shot from outside the 16-yard box found the back of the net that gave Bhutan the lead.
Towards the end of first half, Sonam Lhamo scored another goal to put Bhutan 2-0 against Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s coach Abbas Khan Mohamed Ajwad said his team failed to capitalise on the chances. “The climate did not favour us and the girls were physically down in the later half of the game. As we went down 4-0, the girls were mentally down to fight back. It was an unexpected scoreline,” said the coach.
Sri Lanka’s best chance to score came in the 65th minute when the winger Bandara dribbled past three Bhutanese defenders from the centre. However, skipper Kinzang Dema denied the chance by stopping the striker inside the 16-yard box.
Bhutan’s coach Sung Jea Lee said the team performed well in the second half. “They did not start well as they have never played in front of such crowds. However, they managed to cope up with the atmosphere in the later half. It was a good result for the girls.”
He said that the team’s focus was on second match against India.
Bhutan will play against India tomorrow at 4pm.
“With only 18 players in the squad, Bhutan does not have enough choice of players. However, the match against India was Bhutan’s focus since the beginning,” said Sung Jea lee. “We will give our best and expect to get good result.”
Sri Lanka’s first participation in the SAFF U-15 championship ends without a win and without single goals. The team went 18 goals down, 12 against India and 6 against Bhutan in this edition.
The win over India tomorrow could set Bhutan against the runners up team from Pool B. Loss will place Bhutan against winners of the Pool B in the semi finals that plays on August 16.