The four-time national league champions, Transport United is a match away from lifting the BOB national league after beating Ugyen Academy FC 2-1 at Khuruthang, Punakha yesterday.

Striker Kencho Tobgay scored the opener in the dying minutes of the first half. Thinly Dorji came on to add the second goal in the 86th minute to secure a 2-1 win over Ugyen Academy FC placed at the third place that managed to score a consolation in the dying minute.

Kencho Tobgay scored from a direct free-kick outside the 18-yard box in the 45th minute. The striker, who is in his best form, latched a double hat-trick against Phuentsholing City in the previous game.

Thinley Tobgay replaced Dawa Tshering in the second half. He doubled the lead with his direct free-kick stunner in the second half, from a few meters away from the 18-yard box.

The second goal defeated Ugyen Academy coach Kinley Dorjis’ strategy to stop any more goals when he introduced the second goalie in the remaining half.

It will be Ngawang Dhendup’s first national trophy as a coach and the second the national league trophy with Transport United. He won the first trophy as a player with the club.

Striker Kencho Tobgay came to Transport United from Druk Star FC after the Thimphu league earlier this year.

The striker performed well with the team by scoring several match-winning goals.

Ugyen Academy coach Kinley Dorji said that his team was incomplete in the front as Chuma Dorji Lepcha suffered an injury in the previous game against Thimphu FC.

“He couldn’t recover and the incomplete squad made all the difference. The game went as expected but it was unfortunate that we couldn’t convert several scoring opportunities,” he said.

“The goalkeeper made a mistake while lining up the players for the wall. He selected shorter players to line up the wall for 18-yard direct free-kick that has 99 percent scoring chance,” Kinley Dorji said.

Despite that, he said the game was good.

“It isn’t enough to have skilful players in the game. We’ve to be lucky too. We’re unfortunate to concede the goal,” said the coach.

Despite the home ground advantage and the support from the home spectators, the home team could not turn out positive. The game was an equal contest with maximum free-kicks and the home team won maximum corner kicks. Both the teams were given a yellow card each.

Transport United coach, Ngawang Dhendup, said that he told the boys to play the normal game.

“We couldn’t play our usual game as the ground made it difficult. Both the teams played the same game: long balls and direct attempts on goal.”

He said that the first goal was fortunate.

“I was confident after the second goal. But after conceding the late goal I brought in the players in defence line to secure the win,” he said.

“We sealed the title with the win. I am excited that I could win the championship again with the team,” said the coach.

Meanwhile, Thimphu City beat fourth placed Thimphu FC (3-1) with the Citizen’s forward Diwash Subha scoring a hat trick. Sonam Wangyel of Thimphu FC secured a consolation in the 66th minute.

Second-placed Thimphu City’s win yesterday takes the title contention to the last match as Transport United will play Paro United in its last championship match.

Nima | Punakha