Transport United F.C.
|Full name||Transport United Football Club|
|Manager||Harka Singh Tamang|
Transport United is a football (soccer) club from Thimphu, Bhutan. It was formed in 2000. The club has won four national championships, and was a dominant force in Bhutanese football throughout much of the first decade of the twenty-first century. However, the club has not performed as well recently and has been relegated from the A-Division, playing instead in the second tier. The team plays in the Changlimithang Stadium.
Transport United made their debut in the 2002 A-Division. their final position is not known, other than they can have finished at most second as the title was one by Druk Pol, and the only known result for them for that season was a 5–1 loss to Thimpu. More details are available for the following season, where Transport United finished third, four points behind winners Druk Pol, winning five and drawing one of their eight games in the single round-robin competition. Their third season of competition was their most successful to date, as they won the A-Division and as a result were awarded Bhutan's place in the inaugural AFC President's Cup. Unfortunately, no further details of their performance are available.
Their success in the prior season continued in 2005 as they won their second consecutive A-Division title, winning nine and drawing two of their twelve games and qualifying in the process for the 2006 AFC President's Cup. Their first foray into continental football was less successful. They were drawn in Group A for the group stage, along with Regar-TadAZ from Tajikistan, Three Star Club from Nepal and Taipower from Taiwan. They travelled to Kathmandu where the whole tournament was being hosted, but unfortunately lost all three games and did not progress to the knock-out stage. Goals from Nawang Dendup against Regar-TadAZ and Pema Chophel versus Three Flag Club were the only moments of celebration during the tournament.
|Three Star Club||3||1||2||0||3||2||1||5|
Regar-TadAZ v Transport United
4 May 2005
|Mahmudov 18', 89'
Mukhidinov 35', 37', 56'
Transport United v Three Star Club
6 May 2005
|Transport United||1–2||Three Star Club|
|Chophel 37'||Report||Gouchan 10'
Taipower v Transport United
8 May 2005
|Chiang Shih-lu 40'||Report|
A hat trick of titles followed in the 2006 season, the first time this had been achieved since Druk Pol won three in a row between 1996 and 1998. Unfortunately again there are no details surrounding the teams performance, but they did qualify again for the 2007 AFC President's Cup. As well as the third title, Transport United took part in their second continental appearance in the 2006 AFC President's Cup, where they were drawn again in Group A for the group stage along with Khemara Keila from Cambodia, Tatung from Taiwan and the Pakistan Army team. This time, having travelled to Kurching, Malaysia where the tournament was being held, Transport United performed slightly better, losing in their first game to Khemara, only thanks to a last minute goal from Kim Son-U, when it had looked like Ugyen Wangchuk's equliser would be enough to secure their first point. In the following game it was Transport United's turn to snatch victory at the death, with a ninetieth minute strike from Wangay Dorji sealing their first ever victory over foreign opponents, and to date one of only two times a Bhutanese team has ever taken a point at a President's Cup. A draw would have been enough to take them through to the knockout round, but they collapsed 5–0 to Tatung.
Khemara v Transport United
10 May 2006
Transport United v Pakistan Army
12 May 2006
|Transport United||1–0||Pakistan Army|
Tatung v Transport United
14 May 2006
Chuang 70', 71', 75'
Transport United experienced further success the following season, winning their fourth title in a row, the only time a team has ever won four A-Division titles in a row (Druk Pol has won five national titles in a row between 1996 and 2000, but these were prior to the formation of the A-Division). Details for this season are also scant, but in the game between Transport United and RIHS FC, Passang Tshering scored seventeen goals. Sources indicate that the most goals scored by a single player in a game is 16, scored by Panagiotis Pontikos of Olympos Xylofagou against SEK Ayios Athanasios in May 2007 and by Stephane Stanis for RC Strasbourg in the 1940s. It would appear therefore, that Pontikos, having equalled a record that had stood for over 60 years, saw it broken only a few days later. The club also participated in their third consecutive AFC President's Cup, this time held in Lahore, Pakistan. They were drawn for the third time in Group A for the group stage, along with Regar TadAZ, Ratnam Sports Club from Sri Lanka and the Pakistan Army team. The team got off to the worst possible start, conceding 13 against Regar-TadAZ and 6 against Ratnam, with only Gyeltshen's goal against the Sri Lankans providing any sort of comfort. In the final game though, a dead rubber, they were able to rescue some pride by defeating the Pakistan Army team 3–2, with two goals from Wangay Dorji and one from Sonam Jamtsho.
|Ratnam Sports Club||3||1||1||1||9||5||+4||4|
Transport United v Regar-TadAZ
20 September 2007
|Report||Makhmudov 18', 28', 45+2', 61', 76'
Abdullayev 35', 63'
Rustamov 37', 54'
Ratnam Sports Club v Transport United
22 September 2007
|Ratnam Sports Club||6–1||Transport United|
E.B. Channa 17', 69', 73', 82', 90'
Transport United v Pakistan Army
25 September 2007
|Transport United||3–2||Pakistan Army|
|Dorji 5', 74'
Transport United's domestic dominance came to an end in 2008 when they were beaten into second place by Yeedzin and their four-year run of titles came to an end. An early loss 2–1 to Yeedzin meant that they trailed them by a point at the half way stage of the season, having won all of their other games. They were unable to catch Yeedzin in the second half of the season, as both teams vied for the title. Both Transport united and Yeedzin drew another game each and they went into the final game of the season against each other with Yeedzin still only one point clear. Yeedzin were victorious in this winner takes all encounter taking the game 2–1 to deny Transport united a fifth consecutive title by four points. They still however, had one more appearance in the 2008 AFC President's Cup. Drawn in Group C this time for the group stage along with FC Aşgabat from Turkmenistan, Kanbawza of Myanmar and Ratnam SC. Once again, having travelled to Colombo where all the group games were scheduled to take place, the club got off to a bad start losing 7–1 to both Aşgabat and Ratnam before capitulating 11–0 to Kanbawza to leave the competition with three losses, 25 goals conceded and only two scored.
Ratnam SC v Transport United
April 23, 2008
|Ratnam SC||7–1||Transport United|
|Ediribandanage 17', 41', 90'
Transport United v FC Aşgabat
April 25, 2008
|Transport United||1–7||FC Aşgabat|
|Pradhan 93'||Report||Gurbani 21'
Amanow 32', 36', 48'
Murhalyýew 41', 50'
Kanbawza v Transport United
April 27, 2008
|Kyaw 11', 36', 90+2'
Tun 15', 23', 31', 71'
Htet 41', 51'
2009 to present day
The club's formed slumped in 2009 as they won only three games and drew five to finish in fifth place out of eight teams, suffering 10–1 and 7–2 defeats at the hands of Yeedzin and Druk Star respectively. An improvement the following season saw them finish in third place, behind Druk Pol on goal difference, but nine points behind winner Yeedzin, winning eight and drawing one of their twelve games. This period of stagnation continued in 2011 as they finished fourth, but reached its nadir the next season. For the first time in their history Transport United were relegated, finishing in second last place, their only points coming from two victories over bottom-placed team Nangpa. Their first season in the B-Division was not particularly successful, they failed to reach the final of the knock-out stage of the competition and so did not get the chance to compete against bottom two clubs in the A-Division for the chance to return to the top flight at the first time of asking.
As of 2008 AFC President's Cup:
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- AFC President's Cup: 4 group stage appearances
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