The Bhutan national football team represents Bhutan in international men’s football. The team is controlled by the governing body for football in Bhutan, the Bhutan Football Federation, which is a member of the Asian Football Federation and the regional body the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF). The national football team of Bhutan play their home games at the national stadium, Changlimithang.
The side has consistently been ranked as one of the worst national teams in the world on both the official FIFA rankings and the Elo rating system. As of the end of November 2017, they have only won six competitive fixtures and have a goal difference of −279. The team have never qualified for the finals of a major tournament and, beyond friendlies and qualifying matches, their only participation in an official competition has been in the regional South Asian Games and the South Asian Football Federation Cup. Readmore
2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualification
Bar the initial victories over Sri Lanka, one of the few positives to be taken from their inaugural World Cup qualifying campaign was that their presence in the second round guaranteed their qualification for the qualifying playoff round of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
Two rounds of play-off matches were played to determine the final eight qualifiers for the third round. The draw was made on 7 April 2016, at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The first round of matches were played between 2 and 7 June 2016 and the second round of matches between 6 September and 11 October 2016. As the lowest ranked of all the teams taking part in the play-off round, Bhutan entered in round two, where they were drawn against Bangladesh.
The first match was played on 6 September, with the second leg played on 11 October 2016.Bhutan drew the first leg 0–0, breaking a twelve match losing streak in official matches and a fifteen match losing streak in total. Bhutan ended up winning the second match 3–1, giving them a 3–1 advantage on aggregate and enabling them to advance to round three of the Asian Cup qualification. Bhutan were drawn on 23 January 2017 with Maldives, Palestine and Oman; the draw was moved from 18 January. The Bhutanese were eliminated from contention after four straight losses, especially a 10–0 away loss to Palestine.
2022 World Cup QualificationBhutan were eliminated when they lost 5–1 on aggregate to Guam. They won the first match at home 1–0 but lost the return leg 5–0.
2018 World Cup Qualification
In their first ever qualifying match, they faced Sri Lanka in the two-legged Preliminary Round. In the first leg in Colombo, Bhutan produced a shock result, beating their hosts 1–0, with Tshering Dorji scoring the winner in the eighty-fourth minute. This result even drew praise from now-disgraced FIFA president Sepp Blatter who described the result as “a wonderful, historic moment” on Twitter, though Sri Lanka coach Nikola Kavazovic, whilst conceding Bhutan were the better team remained confident that his team would ultimately be victorious.
The result was met very positively in Bhutan, with the team featuring heavily in the news. Anticipation ahead of the second leg at Changlimithang ran high, a half-day holiday was declared by the government for students and public sector employees and the gates to the ground were opened four hours prior to kick off.The game started positively for Bhutan as Chencho Gyeltshen, the country’s only professional footballer, scored in the sixth minute.
However, Sri Lanka equalised before half time through Subash Madushan. A disallowed goal for each side increased the tension as the game progressed but in injury time at the end of the second half Gyeltshen scored his second goal of the match to seal a 3–1 aggregate victory,ensuring they advanced to Round 2 in the AFC qualifying section whilst Sri Lanka were eliminated. In qualifying for the second phase of the competition, Bhutan were guaranteed at least a place in the play-off round for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
All Time World Cup Stats for Bhutan
Changlimithang Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Thimphu, Bhutan, which serves as the National Stadium. It is predominantly used for football matches and is the home of both the Bhutan national football team and a number of Thimphu-based football clubs who play in both the A-Division and the National League. In addition to football, the stadium also regularly plays host to major archery tournaments, the national sport of Bhutan.
The stadium was initially constructed in 1974 for the coronation of the fourth Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, but was completely refurbished in 2007 in advance of the coronation of the fifth Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. Floodlighting was added to the football pitch in 2009 and an artificial pitch was laid in 2012 to coincide with the start of the first season of the National League.Unusually for a national stadium, and as a result of the conversion of the playing surface to artificial turf, the football field at Changlimithang is available for public hire and is extremely popular with people in Thimphu.