Thinley Namgay

The National Premier League champions, Paro FC stands a better chance against their opponents – Defenders FC of playing in the second leg of the Asian Football Confederation Cup (AFC) qualifiers against Bengaluru FC on February 5.

They have an advantage of three away goals as the match ended 3-3 at home to Defenders FC at Race Course International Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka, yesterday.

This is the first international match for Paro FC since its inception in 2018.

In a pre-match interview, Paro FC’s Technical Director and Head Coach, Puspalal Sharma, said that the team had prepared well and that they would make the opponents play their game and it worked.

Despite conceding an early goal in fifth minutes, Paro dominated the first half of the game with maximum possession.  It equalised in the 12th minute when Dieudonne Fabassou headed in a perfect cross from the defender Chencho.

Dieudonne Fabassou doubled the score in 18th minute from a free-kick. But it was ruled as an offside.

Paro FC mounted pressure and Chencho Gyeltshen got a perfect chance and scored the second in the 24th minute. The Defenders FC equalised through Evans Asante 12 minutes later.

Paro FC shocked the opponents when Chencho Gyeltshen passed the ball and Dieudonne Fabassou scored his brace and made it 3-2 in favour of PFC in final minutes of the first half.

Both the teams wasted numerous chances in the second half but Sajith Kumara of DFC who was unmarked inside the box slotted in the loose ball almost colliding with the Paro FC goalie.

The two teams will play at Changlimithang on January 29. The winner of the tie will then face the champions of the Hero Indian Super League, Bengaluru FC in the preliminary round two.

A total of 20 players accompanied by three technical officials and eight board members reached Sri Lanka on January 18.