Tuesday, 17 March 2015


picture source: Riku Dhan Subba
Bhutan’s win over Sri Lanka in FIFA’s world cup pre-qualification match today watched by thousands of spectators live in Changlimithang stadium and thousands others on television was an unprecedented sporting moment in the country. Never before had Bhutanese turned out in such large numbers and certainly never been entertained by a sporting event in the country like today.  

Even for us, watching on television, the atmosphere in the stadium looked electrifying with our own Bhutanese Waves sweeping through the jam-packed stadium which reportedly has the capacity of 25,000.
picture source: Riku

This may be one of the few major tournaments that had ever been hosted by Bhutan. It certainly marks Bhutan’s ability to not just host some international matches but also show the world, the strides and progress of football that was rapidly taking place in this small kingdom.

Winning comfortably with a score of 2-1 today, Bhutan cruised past Lanka with an aggregate of 3-1. Bhutan led 1-0 from the first leg, played in Colombo. This was certainly one of the best results ever, I think.

 It was a deserving win today. We could have won by greater margin, had our players been able to convert some clear chances. Honestly speaking, Bhutan dominated right from the start and looked extremely dangerous on breaks with the speed of the striker by the name Chencho. The first goal was pure magic. Cool and professional finish from a difficult angle. To me that moment was akin to watching European leagues like EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A etc.

I must confess that the first time the news of Bhutan’s win in Sri Lanka filtered in social media, I thought that must have been one of those lucky moment for our side. Watching the return leg on television with a dominant display by our boys was unbelievable. FIFA ranks Bhutan at the bottom of the world ranking at 209 places. Sri Lanka is ranked 35 places above Bhutan at 174, a point below India. Today’s result will do a lot of good to change all these. It is good for football in Bhutan. The future looks bright.
picture source: BBS

The boys deserve the credit. They showed us what they can achieve if groomed adequately. I really hope, government will take sports seriously from now on to take it to the next level. It is really possible for our sportsmen to achieve new heights.

Tomorrow, the global sports newspapers will be headlined by Bhutan. This time it will be for the right reason. The national players did us proud. The beautiful game has found its love in the land of happiness.

Gyembo Namgyal

March 17, 2015 11:30 PM