Thinley Namgay  

Paro FC and Thimphu City FC went into the last game of BoB Bhutan Premier League 2021, both equally contending for the trophy at Woochu Sports Arena in Paro on October 2.

Paro enjoyed a two-point lead over the rivals and a home ground advantage. But it was the visitors who drew first blood when City’s midfielder Dawa Tshering found the net in the 41st minute. For the Cityzens, it was a ‘do or die’ situation, if they didn’t snatch three points, they were handing the cup to the hosts.

After completing 17 games, City earned 42 points, whereas Paro FC had 44 points and needed only a draw in the final.

Thimphu City FC fought hard. However, their lead slipped away after Paro FC striker Yeshi Dorji equalised in the 61st minute. The match ended 1-1. Paro FC fetched 45 points, and Thimphu City FC 43 and the Tigers lifted the trophy two times since its inception in 2018.

Paro FC’s head coach Puspalal Sharma said his expectation of winning the final game was 50 percent. “I was hopeful the home ground would play advantage for us. Our plan was never to concede the first goal. It led to a lot of pressure, but I was hoping we would bounce back in the second half.”

Puspalal Sharma said that winning the most prestigious league twice since its inception was encouraging.

“I would like to thank my technical team, management and the backroom staff for making it happen. I would not forget the immense support from the fans, without whom this journey would have been daunting,” he said.

Paro FC was awarded a cash prize of Nu 2 million with a trophy. The City got Nu 800,000 followed by Transport United FC with Nu 40,000.

Transport Utd acquired 41 points this year.

The most valuable player of the tournament was Phuntsho Jigme of Thimphu City FC. Scoring 23 goals, Yeshi Dorji of Paro FC was the highest goal scorer this season.

Of the 10 participating teams, the fair play award was bagged by newcomer Gelephu FC.

Edited by Tshering Palden