Powered by:

Match Preview: UA vs City

The league leaders are on the road once again to take on Ugyen Academy FC this weekend. This will be the second meeting in less than a month.

The two sides couldn’t be separated at Changlimithang, leading City to tumble to second position. Following the suspension of regular starter Tenzin Norbu, the injury-plagued TCFC had to rely on a temporary centre-back pairing then. The host had to depend on Bella’s 81st minute equalizer to lengthen the team’s unbeaten streak.

Same fixture last year was the final game of our 2020 title winning campaign. With their fates sealed even before they met, the last game had little to play for other than City’s bid for an invincible season. However, it was not to be as the reds were beaten 3-2.

This season the stakes are different. Reds are attempting to successfully defend their title, and every game has become crucial for the club. Ngawang Dhendup and his boys are well aware that the game against UA, especially at their home, is always consequential. On the other hand, UA are still trying to recover from their worst season, standing currently on 6th place. A win over Thimphu City will be a major boost to at least end the season on a high note. However, for a team that has only scored 12 goals thus far, it will be a difficult assignment. Only Gelephu has scored less than our next opponents. To make matters worse, City has the third fewest goals surrendered in the league. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from UA’s past five home games, it’s that they’ve won when they’ve attacked and lost when they’ve gone defensive. Last season’s triumph over the ultimate champions also serves as an evidence as the 2020 UA squad was an attacking unit after all. They had the third highest number of goals scored when they finished second.

Unforgiving Venue
Reds were at Khuruthang just 10 days ago and won the game 2-0 against Gomo FC. The match between the sides from opposite ends of the table appeared to be heading for a goalless draw until Bella stepped up to break the deadlock once more. Ten minutes later, a half volley from Tshagay gave the team a cushion.

Khuruthang has always left us with mixed emotions over the years. Of the nine games played there against UA, Thimphu City has recorded only four wins and a draw. The rugged field of UA has always hampered the smooth playing style, making it the least preferred poaching ground for any visiting sides. Furthermore, the home team’s enthusiastic and energetic support has always had an impact on the visitors’ performance. In the same fixture last year our boys suffered the only loss of the title winning campaign. If any team has enjoyed a home advantage in Bhutanese football history, then it is clearly Ugyen Academy.

Team News
Apart from the long-term absence of Kencho Tobgay due to injury, Choklay will be the only other player unavailable. While Ngawang Dhendup will be upset to be without one of his key players, he will, however, be able to choose from virtually the whole team for the first time this season.

The match will be at 3PM on August 14 at UA Ground.