Thinley Namgay 

Thimphu Raven FC secured their spot in the highly anticipated 2023 BoB Bhutan Premier League (BPL) after a hard-fought 2-2 draw against South Druk United FC in a crucial qualifier match at the Royal Thimphu College ground yesterday.

Joining them in the prestigious league are BFF Academy, Namlha FC, and Tensung FC, completing the lineup of teams for the upcoming tournament.

The battle for the final BPL seat had been fiercely contested between Thimphu Raven FC, South Druk United FC, and Tsirang FC. In yesterday’s match, South Druk United FC took an early lead, dominating the first half with a 2-0 advantage. However, Thimphu Raven FC mounted a comeback, equalising with two goals in the 66th and 81st minutes, by Pema Dorji and Yeshi Wangchuk, respectively.

With this draw, Thimphu Raven FC secured nine points in the qualifier. Tsirang FC also accumulated nine points from their seven matches but fell short of advancing due to a goal difference of three.

Reflecting on the team’s success, an official from Thimphu Raven FC attributed their qualification to strong team coordination and emphasised the challenges that lie ahead in the upcoming BPL, stating their commitment to a thorough preparation. The official mentioned potential player reshuffling to further strengthen the team.

Meanwhile, South Druk United FC obtained eight points in the qualifier, putting up a valiant effort but falling short of securing a place in the coveted league.

The tournament, which commenced in April with eight participating teams, required each team to play seven games. Despite the teams having secured their spots in the BPL, four games still remain to be played. As of the latest standings, BFF Academy leads the table with an impressive 17 points from seven games. Namlha FC follows closely with 14 points, while Tensung FC sits at 13 points.

The top four teams from the qualifier, including Thimphu Raven FC, BFF Academy, Namlha FC, and Tensung FC, will now join the ranks of Paro FC, Thimphu City FC, Druk Lhayul FC, RTC FC, Transport United FC, and Ugyen Academy FC in the highly anticipated 2023 BPL.

Excitement continues to build as Bhutanese football fans eagerly anticipate the clash of these formidable teams in the upcoming league.