Thim­phu City draw with Club Va­len­cia

Bhutan Times - - Home - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

Thim­phu City FC drew 0-0 against Mal­di­vian Club Va­len­cia in the first leg of the AFC Cup pre­lim­i­nary round (South Asia Zone) at Changlingmithang Sta­dium on 31 Jan­uary.

The na­tional cham­pi­ons, Thim­phu City FC, man­aged to get a point against the Mal­di­vian na­tional cham­pi­ons, Club Va­len­cia, but failed score goals. The City FC missed sev­eral op­por­tu­ni­ties with some clumsy passes.

Club Va­len­cia man­aged make sev­eral at­tempts against Thim­phu City FC but strug­gled to land a win­ning blow.

The club cre­ated two good chances in the first half. The first at­tempt was blocked by Thim­phu City goal­keeper and the next at­tempt by de­fend­ers Nima Wangdi and Jigme T. Dorji.

Bhutan’s star player, Chen­cho Gyelt­shen, was on the bench in the first half since the or­gan­is­ers couldn’t con­tact Chen­cho’s agent over phone.

How­ever, the sec­ond half of the match turned into a dif­fer­ent game as Chen­cho Gyelt­shen de­cided to play with the need for ad­di­tional en­ergy in the team which made the match dif­fi­cult to the Va­len­cia.

The head coach of Club Va­len­cia, Mo­hamed Iqbal, said that his team could have strug­gled if Chen­cho Gyelt­shen had been part of the game from the start. How­ever, he said that the play­ers had a good game against Thim­phu FC in the match played at six de­grees.

Ac­cord­ing to the play­ers, Club Va­len­cia came to Bhutan for the match with 10 prac­tice ses­sions. The high el­e­va­tion dur­ing the winter sea­son made them vul­ner­a­ble to degra­da­tion from play­ers.

Thim­phu City en­joyed their best sea­son to date in 2016 as they topped the Thim­phu League be­fore edg­ing Druk United by two points to win the Bhutan League for the first time. They are the first club from Bhutan to earn a spot in this stage of the AFC Cup.

Club Va­len­cia earned a spot in the AFC Cup Mal­dives FA Cup ti­tle af­ter strug­gling in the 2016 Divehi Pre­mier League and nar­rowly avoid­ing rel­e­ga­tion.

Va­len­cia also ap­peared in the AFC Cup three times in 2004, 2005 and 2009 re­spec­tively but has yet to get past the group stage.

About 4,000 spec­ta­tors gath­ered in the cold evening to watch the na­tional cham­pi­ons tak­ing on the is­lan­ders ex­pect­ing the team.

The play­ers are ex­pected to leave next week on 7 Fe­bru­ary in Mal­dives for the sec­ond leg of the round at the na­tional sta­dium in Male.

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