Football: One word to describe the game; drama! As Thimphu City FC took on rivals Thimphu FC in the on-going BoB National League, City managed to clinch their first ever national league title at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu.
The win, however, did not come easy for the champions. City dominated the match and were leading 3-0 until the 75th minute when they were pushed to the limit by Thimphu FC.
A free kick in the 77th minute from Chencho Gyeltshen of Thimphu FC provided Thimphu FC the much-needed comeback in the game. Tshering Norbu brought the deficit to only a single goal when he headed in his first of the match a minute later.
The pressure on the champions grew further when Karma Shedrup Tshering and Kesang Phuntsho were sent off in the 85th minute for arguing with the referee.
With two men down, Thimphu FC pushed forward and tried to capitalise on the situation. However, at the end of 90+5 minutes, City won the league title 3-2.
A draw against Thimphu FC would have been enough for City to claim the title. However, the champions secured their first national league title in style amidst the enormous pressure.
After the match, City defender Karun Gurung said that the pressure was immense in the match. “I’ve never faced such pressure in any football match before,” he said.
He said that his team had full control of the game until Thimphu FC pushed forward in the dying minutes of the game. “Football is a game where anything can happen. We can never predict anything in this beautiful game,” said Karun Gurung.
He added that football is all about taking chances. “Opportunities will come to both the teams, but to capitalise on the opportunity will decide the faith of the team.”
City manager Hishey Tshering said that it was the young players on his team who rose to the occasion and helped the team win their first national league title.
Today, most of the popular names in the game play for City. However, due to injuries, many key players missed the league this season.
Yesterday’s win owed much to two young and promising players. Kesang Penjore, 19, scored a brace for City and 16-year-old Orgyen W Tshering scored the third and final goal for City in the 75th minute.
Disappointed, Thimphu FC’s manager Namzay Kumutha said: “It is always the linesmen and wrong decisions from the referee that spoils the game for us. We are not complaining because we lost, but we are doing this for the betterment of the game and nothing else.”
Namzay Kumutha said that the hard-work players put into the game is spoiled by wrong decisions from the officials. “Our only request to the officials is that to make more professional decisions and not base it on personal grudges,” she said.
Meanwhile, with this win Thimphu City FC has won all the three major league titles this year. After four unsuccessful seasons, City won the Thimphu League, followed by the Thimphu Women’s league last month.
In their final game of the season, Thimphu City FC will play their last match of the season against Druk United on August 11.