Thimphu City FC 1 – 2 Paro FC

Thinley Namgay 

Paro FC was crowned the champions of the 2022 BoB Bhutan Premier League (BPL) after defeating Thimphu City FC 2-1 at the Changlimithang Stadium yesterday in a highly contested game.

It was Paro FC’s (Tigers)  third BPL title. In a much subdued final game, both teams approached cautiously and the game was heading for goalless draw when Paro FC’s forward Chencho Gyeltshen scored and gave the team a deserved lead in the 35th minute.  He received a standing ovation from the audience.

Chencho dribbled from a long-distance and found the right side of the net. The first half ended 1-0 for the Tigers.   Buoyed by the lead, Paro FC went to double the lead in the 54th minute through Kazuo Homma. The striker scored from a long distance.

However, City grew back into the game and pulled back one in the 66th minute.  Dawa Tshering scored in the penalty.  The game ended 2-1 for the Tigers.

More than 5,000 spectators gathered at the stadium to watch the game despite the freezing cold in Thimphu.  Paro FC became the first team to defeat City this season. The Tigers remained unbeaten this season with 48 points from 15 wins and three draws.

The Tigers drew against City, Ugyen Academy and Druk Lhayul FC.

Thimphu City and Paro FC had become arch rivals. In their last six clashes in the BPL in the last three years,  City won two matches in the 2020 season at home and away, 4-2 and 4-3. In the 2021 season and 2022 first leg, they drew all three games with a goal each.

Paro FC’s head coach, Puspalal Sharma, said that the team did very well. “The team formation was planned one year before the season. I want to thank all the players, fans, management of the club, sponsors and BFF for the support.”

“Now our team will focus on the upcoming AFC game sometime in August,” he said.

City’s President,  Hishey Tshering, said that he was glad that Paro won the championship. “My team also did well.”

Debutant Druk Lhayul FC was the team to note this season. Lhayul was one of the main title contenders this season. Lhayul came third with 40 points.

It was Druk Lhayul FC who drew 2-2 against the Tigers in the crucial game on December 27 that gave City the chance to win the championship.

Another newcomer to the league, RTC FC came fourth with 30 points. Transport FC came fifth with 25 points with a game in hand. The team will play their last game against Tensung FC today at Changlimithang at 6pm.

Paro FC was awarded a cash prize of Nu 2.4 million (M) and a winning trophy. City was awarded Nu 1M.

The most valuable player of the season was Kazuo Homma of Paro FC who was also the top scorer of the season. He scored 34 goals and took home Nu 80,000 in prize money.

The young emerging player is Santa Kumar Limboo from Ugyen Academy. He received Nu 30,000.