Chencho Gyeltshen Named Most Valuable Player
The home team fought hard against one of the best Middle Eastern teams with experienced professional players and a physically strong team.
In the last home game of the AFC Asian Cup qualifier, Bhutan lost 2-4 to Oman at Changlimithang on 15 November.
Bhutan fought hard against Oman
The home team fought hard against one of the best Middle Eastern teams with experienced professional players and a physically strong team. Bhutan registered two goals of the AFC Asian campaign in front of the home crowd that cheered the team throughout the qualification round.
Although Bhutan suffered an early elimination in the AFC Asian Cup qualifier, the team staged a much improved performance against Oman, which would make the fourth AFC Asian Cup appearance at United Arab Emirates in 2019.
Bhutan’s skipper Karma Shedrup scored his first international goal, equalising Sami Al Hasani’s goal in the 48th minute. The equaliser came after 10 minutes through the effort of three forward players. Chencho Gyeltshen found the net when he scored his 10th international goal for the team.
Bhutan scored two good goals against the best goalkeeper of the Middle East
Oman’s Coach Peter Tim Verbeek said Bhutan made the game exciting. “The first goal in the early minute of the second half came in the right moment. The equaliser changed the game and made the game a bit difficult,” he said. “Bhutan scored two good goals against the best goalkeeper of the Middle East. It was a great finish as it’s final home game for Bhutan.”
Although Oman could not capitalise on their advantage of height and physical strength in the first half, the team made the best out of the last 10 minutes; scoring three goals in the 77th, 86th and 89th minute to seal three points.
Bhutan stunned the most experienced professional goalkeeper with the second goal in the extra minute. Goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi has a record of stopping top German football club Bayern Munchen with several good saves during UEFA Champion league in the 2007-08 season.
However, his professional experience was limited with Bhutan scoring two goals in two matches played between the two.
Chencho Gyeltshen who was on duty with his newly signed Indian professional league club from Punjab returned to the national team training two days before. He said that he could not perform well. “I got less training time and was not fit to play because of my cough. It was a great moment to score against the best goalkeeper of the Middle East,” he said.
While Oman took the points, the credit for performance was shared equally with Chencho Gyeltshen winning the most valuable player of the match. He is the first player from Bhutan to win the title.
Bhutan will play its final of the qualifying game against the Maldives in March next year.
By Nima (This article has been edited for the Bhutan Times)