By Tenzin Dharpo
The Tibetan National football team after the win against CRPF Jalandhar on Oct. 7, 2017. photo- TNSA
DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 9: The Tibetan National football team won an emphatic group match in the prestigious Sikkim Governor's Gold Cup, advancing into the quarterfinals of the 37th edition of the tournament that has some of the biggest names in Indian football.
The Tibetan National team beat CRPF (Central Reserved Police Force) Jalandhar in a closely fought penalty shootout on Saturday after the regulated 90 minutes failed to break the deadlock between the two teams. Both teams failed to score in the regular 90 minutes followed by extra time.
Team Tibet edged out the team from Jalandhar 6-5 in the shootout in which the goalkeeper of the Tibetan team had a crucial role to play. The next match for the Tibetan team slated for Oct. 11 against one of the premier Indian clubs Mohun Bagan, will present a tough test for the Tibetan team.
The team captained by former Pune FC midfielder Karma Tsewang said that his team is motivated and inspired after the win. “Who doesn’t want to play against Mohun Bagan? It’s a tough match but we will give our hundred percent and our hearts out no matter what the results are,” he said on the prospects of the next game.
The participation in the 37th edition of the all India Sikkim Governor’s Gold Cup has given the much needed big game exposure to the Tibetan National football team that has been invited to play in the upcoming 2018 CONIFA World Cup - the Federation for football associations outside FIFA, TNSA Director Passang Dorjee said.
Sascha Düerkop, General Secretary CONIFA said, "Tibet's first participation in a CONIFA tournament is a very special and proud moment for CONIFA as an organization. We are very honored to provide a footballing home to the Tibetan community and enable them to meet footballers from 4 continents around the world."
The Sikkim Gold Cup, known as the Sikkim Governor's Gold Cup is an Indian football tournament held in Sikkim organized by Sikkim Football Association (SFA). TNSA team has participated in the tournament a few times.
The Tibetan National football team was first created 17 years ago and played its first international match against Greenland in Copenhagen, Denmark in the year 2001.