The score was not as depressing as it was in the last two games, says national skipper

Football: Despite a strong display of defensive play, Qatar team beat the national team 3:0 in the final home game of the second round of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers at the Changlimithang stadium yesterday.

Striker Mohammed Muntari who intimidated the Bhutanese defense early in September scoring a hat trick was held to a lone goal. However, it was striker Hasan Al Haydos who rose to the occasion netting twice in each half of the game.

The Bhutanese defense line seemed sturdy and solid for the much taller and faster Qatar players. The moment the ball seeped from the sides, men in orange swarmed the box preventing shots on goal.

Qatar head coach, Jose Daniel Carreno also acknowledged the improved rear guard. “Their defense line was well-organised and whole game play was much better than the one we saw last at Doha,” he said.

The Uruguayan coach said that in the quest of scoring early goals, the Qatar players lost focus at times in the game, which made the situation little difficult. However, he added that the most important thing at the end was the three crucial points.

“I’m happy for my team and very pleased with the win,” he said.

Bhutan’s national skipper Karma Shedrup Tshering said although the game was tough, the result was not as depressing as the last games in Qatar and China.

“With two heavy losses, there were expectations from people to perform better this time,” he said. “I think we lived up to the expectation as we were looking to keep the score line below five, which we successfully accomplished.”

Bhutan focusing on defense could not register a single attempt on goal, and struck just three off target shots. Starved of any potential service, the lone striker, Chencho Gyeltshen could not reproduce his heroics against the Sri Lankan team.

Despite the cold evening and the three-goal deficit, the fans remained past the game to cheer on the players waving flags and chanting slogans. Many jumped on to social media to applaud the national squad for the improved display of footwork.

With the win, Qatar has now officially qualified to the third round of the FIFA World Cup qualifications with 18 points in the group. Bhutan will play its last game of the qualifiers against Maldives on March 29 at the National Football Stadium, Malé in Maldives.

Younten Tshedup