At the opening of under-17 national girls’ football championship in Gelephu, Pemagatshel defeated Tsirang (4-1).

Pema Tshomo and Yeshi Choden scored two goals each.

In the second game, a hat trick from Bumthang’s Dorji Wangmo and a goal from Tashi Wangmo secured nailed Samdrupjongkhar (4-2).

In the under-15 category, Lhuentse defeated Dagana dzongkhag (3-1). Goals from Phuntsho Choden and Pema Tshoki sealed Dagana’s fate.

Trashigang suffered a bitter welcome at the opening day of the championship. Trashiyangtse humbled Trashigang dzongkhag 5-1.

Fifteen best players each from 20 dzongkhags are taking part in 10-day national championship and selection camp.

A total of 600 under-17 girls are involved in the annual event that is being conducted by Bhutan Football Federation.

The event is grouped into two categories – under 15 and under 17. Twenty best players among 300 U-15 girls and 20 from 300 U-17 girls will be selected to form a national girls’ youth team to represent the country in international tournaments.

Fifteen-year-old Tandin Wangmo from Trashigang said that has been her dream to represent the country. “Playing football is my passion. I hope to get selected for the national team. I am here to learn more about the sport and to gain confidence.”

The selected players will undergo training at Gelephu football academy.

“If the players continue to excel, the federations will help them pursue higher education,” said a BFF official.

The federation’s grassroots manager, Ugyen Dorji, said that the programme would help federation understand the quality of young players and grassroots development in the dzongkhags.

“The selected players will play Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-16 and U-19 qualifications,” Ugyen Dorji said.

BFF initiated the annual event four years ago with a coach each in the 20 dzongkhags.

The players taking part in the championship and the selection camp were selected from the school and dzongkhag tournaments.

The championship and selection camp will end January 17.