Thinley Namgay  

Bhutan’s under (U)-17 men’s national football team will land in Bangladesh today from Sri Lanka for the upcoming Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-17 Asian Cup qualification which commenced on October 5.

Forty-four AFC member nations will compete in the AFC U-17 Asian Cup qualification in 10 different host countries from October 1 to 9.

Sixteen teams will qualify for the 2023 AFC U-17 Asian Cup in May.

Bhutan’s U-17 is placed with hosts Bangladesh, Singapore, and Yemen in a group.

On October 5, Bhutan will face Yemen and Bangladesh will play against Singapore at the Bir Sherestha Shaheed Shipahi Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Dhaka.

Bhutan’s under (U)-17 men’s national football team ended their SAFF U-17 Championship 2022 in Sri Lanka after losing 3-0 against India and 2-1 against Nepal.

Striker Kamal Uraon said: “They were not tough teams but we made many passing mistakes and lost control.”

Kamal, a Class IX student of BFF Academy, said a similar mistake won’t happen in the AFC games. “We are training hard.”

Despite facing competent teams, the team displayed quality play in the SAFF championship.

During the game with Nepal on September 7, Bhutan dominated the game in terms of ball possession and skills. Bhutan also got more goal-scoring opportunities against Nepal.

Fans said that had Bhutan played more confidently, the team would have easily won against Nepal and at least achieved a draw against India.

The game against India on September 5 was disturbed by the heavy rain, making it difficult for both teams.