SAFF Championships Group Stage
Halchowk Stadium, Kathmandu, Nepal
Sri Lanka 5-2 Bhutan
Sadly there is to be no rise from the foot of the world rankings for Bhutan for the time being. A third straight defeat in the SAFF Championships group stages means an end to such lofty dreams. They did manage to score twice however, which is the first time they’ve achieved that in five defeats to Sri Lanka. A small crumb of comfort perhaps.
Bhutan’s first goal came from Passang Tshering on the stroke of half-time, by which time they were already 3 down. Another was added by Sonam Tenzing in the second half, but not before Sri Lanka had already banged in a fourth.
Bhutan’s keeper Leki Dukpa was suspended after his red card against Maldives, so Hemlal Bhattrai came in, but was no less busy then his predecessor.
In a bright start to the match, Bhutan had their chances, going close in the 9thminute and again going near in the 17th minute when Yeshey Dorji shot wide. Two minutes later though, the defence was breached when Mohamed Issadeen scored at the second attempt after a cross from the left.
Barely a few minutes later it was 2-0 after a poor clearance by the keeper allowed Mohamed Fazaluzzaman to score. Things got worse just after the half hour when Pema Dorji scored an own goal.
The second half saw plenty more joy for Sri Lanka, though they did manage to miss a penalty too. Sonam Tenzing banged a volley home for Bhutan’s second, but any hope of victory or a draw had long since gone.