The football match between Bhutan and Maldives began in similar manner to the earlier matches wherein the opposing team scored goals and the Bhutanese fans kept praying. Then at the later stage of the 2nd half, the tide turned. The tempo that the Bhutanese team was able to play with during the 2nd half finally tired the sea level Maldive players in thin mountain air of Thimphu. Initially with 4 goals ahead , the team from Maldives seemed a little complacent. I wondered what advise the team coach had given the visiting team during the interval. And was intrigued by too many ball shuffling in and around their D area instead of clearing away.
One could not have guessed the Bhutanese side of the drama during the half time interval. But the ball was mostly contained on the side of the winning team during the 2nd half. And as Bhutanese forwards scored successive impressive shots into the opponent's net, it seemed a long cast curse had been shattered. The change in Bhutanese team dynamo may not be entirely due to abrupt departure of the bad luck Japanese coach but the change in strategy and new found self respect and high spirit definitely brought about the memorable feat at Changlingmithang. Scoring 3 fantastic goals in such a short span of time is no fluke. The curse has been destroyed and Bhutan Football team has regained its spirit and dignity.
I for one do not care about the niceties or ugliness of the Japanese coach, the manager and the players that had occurred during that crucial half time break. That it happened and made possible the wind of change is all Bhutan needed.
What could Kuensel Editor have in mind when the editorial writes of ( phantom ?) long term goal of the Japanese coach ? 100 goals more defeat for Bhutan ? And washing dirty linen in public ? Well, please check what the Japanese coach said to Kuensel before departure for Hong Kong game. It was he who began washing dirty linen in public.
A blame game kind of incident has been portrayed by the Bhutan Football Federation. The Japanese coach is not innocent but BFF management is largely the culprit. A winning Bhutanese coach Nima was dumped and a Japanese with confusing mental attitude and dubious professionalism was imported. His main contribution seems to be changing the numbers on the Jersey of players and a hara- kiri match strategy.
The President of BFF Dasho Ugen Tsechup had acquired the coach from the Japanese Football Association. And both Team Manager Hishey Tshering and Team Captain Passing Tshering had backed the Japanese coach to the hilt. As I had commented before, I do not underestimate the valuable contributions made by BFF management. The artificial green turfs, the practise sessions in Bangkok , the funds acquired and raised had to have made tremendous impact in upgrading Bhutanese football standard. What was negative was that the BFF Management lacked confidence in itself and the collective efforts of team Bhutanese. So they sacked the match winning Bhutanese coach and totally endorsed the street dog treatment of the players by the Japanese coach. And the Bhutanese fans went crazy wild with praises for every losses. The more the number of goals the Bhutanese team lost by, the louder the praises for the team or was it a fabricated publicity camouflage for bad management decision.
The path to way forward is coming out clean. So washing ugly and dirty linen in public and adopting a more nationally sensible transparent working system is a positive first step. The BFF Management need to apologise to itself for lack of self confidence in team Bhutanese and apologise to the Bhutanese coach Nima who they sacked for winning. It seemed to be a case of professional jealousy. May be the Japanese coach did not want to win matches for fear of being kicked out.
One hopes for BFF to weather this episode and be more coherent hereafter. And as for the players I hope they keep to the necessity of being humbly professional and work harder to be better.
Good Luck to the BFF Management and the players. And better luck and wisdom with the next coach.