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Sharing joy with our boys!

Photo of Bhutanese national soccer team receiving wishes for their success in Sri Lanka

Although it’s too early to celebrate our final victory, I personally can’t wait to share joy with our national soccer players who have won 1-0 against Sri Lanka in the first-round qualifying match for 2018 World Cup tournament. Hats off to our national team for proving to the world that we are not as worse as what our critics think. When Bhutan Football Federation first announced long time ago that they hope to take part in the World Cup after 2015, I and my brother-in-law who were listening to the TV interview did not believe it. We directly thought that even when giant nations like India and China have hardly qualified for such a big event, there’s no way we could make our way through. But today as our national team rejoices over the amazing victory against Sri Lanka in Colombo, I take back my own words. I have come to realize that soccer is a game in which the successes and failures depend largely on team-work and proper coordination among the players. One or two excellent players in a team can’t make much difference when it comes to the success of the entire team.

Though I am not fortunate enough to watch the tournament with my own eyes, soccer is one game I am very interested in. Though I am blind, I can see through the narrations of the commentator which is enough to drag me into the charm of the game. But this time I unfortunately missed Bhutan’s live match with Sri Lanka on 12th March 2015. However, I got updates from friends and online sources. I am really proud of our national team for their hard-earned success for Bhutan.

Just before the match, the former Sri Lanka Captain Ashok Nawgalage had told AFP news, “There’s no point in punching someone who is 36 positions below us and that playing with Bhutan is not very useful, even in terms of acquiring experience”. I know we rank 209 in the latest FIFA ranking, officially the last position, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot challenge someone 36 positions or more above us. By now, I guess he must have realized how overconfidence can kill one’s own performance. Our national team has taught our critics that they cannot always judge us by the geographical size of our country or our past records. I think Sri Lanka was too confident that they would easily win, firstly because they are 36 positions above us in the FIFA ranking and secondly, the match was held in their national stadium which they are more familiar with.

As our national boys are now preparing for another fight here at Changlemithang stadium on 17th March 2015, we need to remind ourselves of the possible lessons we have learned from Sri Lanka. Our boys must not be too confident to win just because the match is being held in our own stadium in which you might have played so many times before. I hope our team would maintain the same spirit and add one more feather onto our national cap. To all our national players, we are always behind you and we believe in you. Give out your best and you will definitely make it to the top. I would like to personally congratulate our striker Chencho Gyeltshen for such a wonderful attempt and midfielder Tshering Dorji for the excellent shot at the 86th minute. I would also like to congratulate all other members for their equal contributions and coordination. I know it’s a collective score. Keep up the good work, guys. May the guardian deities of Bhutan bless you throughout this journey!

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