With a light rainfall, Changlimithang Stadium gave a slippery welcome to the teams last weekend.
It was perhaps indication that the teams could slip from their positions no matter how hard they tried to cling to their lead.
Ugyen Academy boys from Punakha looked familiar with the weather. They played composed and confidently. The leading scorer of the league, Chuma Dorji Lepcha opened the scoring in the 35th minute. He has now scored seven goals in four matches.
Ugyen Academy FC took hold of the game and cut off any chance for the opponent though Transport Utd repeatedly tried to take control of the game. Ugyen Academy’s attacking play made the situation difficult for Transport United defenders as the boys played quick counter attacks and moved fast into space.
However, Ugyen Academy conceded two late goals.
Kencho Tobgay came to the rescue with the equalizer in the 77th minute. His skipper Dawa Tshering scored the winner six minutes later.
Transport United coach Ngawang Dhendup said that the win was important to remain in the title race. “First half of the game did not go as we expected. We had a hard time building up in the midfield. I had my key player on the bench and the new player in defense line could not coordinate with the team,” said the coach.
“We came up strong but we’re shattered by the referees’ decisions. The game is all played by referees,” Ugyen Academy coach Kinley Dorji said.
“Our game was disorganized by the referees. Players were morally down. We’d have come back but unnecessary decisions against our players made it impossible.”
He cited an incident where his player was openly kicked by a Transport United defender.
“Forget about kicking the players, spitting at the player is awarded a red card. It was an intentional kick and the player was just questioned. My player was given card for a minor protest,” said the coach.
He said that the referees’ decision favoured the opponent team as the referee of the match was with Transport United before.
“He was the captain of Transport United for five years,” Kinley Dorji said.
He said that the referee of the match was disallowed to be the referee in the previous game between Thimphu FC and Thimphu City.
“The club rules are applied and we were not given the same voice. The federation should start taking actions on referees. The time has come to question the referees,” said the coach.
In another match, Thimphu City FC came from behind to snatch three points from Thimphu FC. The match was intense for the City as the team conceded the early goal in 16th minute.
Thimphu FC was leading the game till the 78th minute.
The equaliser from the combined effort of Karma Shedrup and Orgyen Wangchuck brought down the well-worked defending line of Thimphu FC. In the next 10 minute, the header of Chencho from the corner kick gave Thimphu City the lead.
Thimphu FC’s best chance to equalise came in the dying minutes when its player was brought down inside the box. However, the referee disallowed the foul and continued the play.
Thimphu FC coach said that the game was one sided.
“Everyone in the stadium knows the lapses of the game. The foul disallowed by the referee was clearly a penalty kick. We’re helpless as we’ve to respect the decisions,” he said.
The coach said that his expectation of the game was a draw as he faced Thimphu City for the fourth time including the weekend clash. He said the opponent squad is much stronger but he had improved the tactics of the game evident from the team’s superior performance in the first half.
He said that to develop the sport it’s not only the players that need development. “The game officials should perform at the same level,” said the coach.
The match against Thimphu FC was the first match for the new coach of Thimphu City from the United Kingdom. Vincent Deacon was assisting the former Coach Karun Gurung who left abroad last week.
He said that the team had been preparing for the own game. “Thimphu FC is a good team and they have good players. It was a tough game and I told the boys to play our own game. Boys played a good game and we won the match,” said the coach.