YANGON (7 Sept 2017) – Vietnam scored a big opening win in their campaign in Group B when they thumped Brunei DS 8-1 on the fourth match day of the AFF Under-18 Championship here at the Thuwunna Stadium.
With Brunei having beaten the Philippines in their first game in the group two days earlier, there were expectations that they would at least give Vietnam a hard fight in the match that was affected by the persistent rain yet again.
But in the end, Vietnam were just too organised as they scored three goals in the first half before adding further goals after the breather for the comprehensive win.
“It is our first game played under heavy condition,” said Le Xuan Tu afterwards. “We still have several more matches to play, so we have to be careful (with player selection).”
Xuan Tu was the first to get on to the score sheet when he headed home the cross from Truong Tien Anh in the 15th minute.
Tien Anh then rocked the Brunei post with a stiff grounder in the 24th minute before Vietnam added the second goal two minutes later with a close range effort from Nguyen Hong Son.
Brunei managed to pull a goal back when Muhammad Nur Asyraffahmi Norsamri capitalised on a defensive mistake in the 44thminute as Tran Van Cong then restored Vietnam’s advantage moments later for them to take a 3-1 lead going into the second half.
Vietnam then took full control of the game after the break as they pushed Brunei back into their own half before piling on the goals off Xuan Tu (74th minute), Dang Van Toi (77th), Nguyen Khac Khiem (78th and 90th) and Mai Sy Hoang (89th).
“We tried to match Vietnam as much as possible but they just had too much quality with their technical ability and physical endurance,” added Asyraffahmi.
YANGON (5 Sept 2017) – A header just after the hour mark from defender Abdul Wadud Ramli gave Brunei their opening 3-2 win over the Philippines in the first game of Group B of the AFF Under-18 Championship here at the Thuwunna Stadium.
“We are of course very happy to pick up our first full points which is really our first international win,” said striker Muhammad Abdul Mateen Said. “Now we have to prepare well for our next game.”
In spite of the threat of rain, both teams took to the game in high spirit as they were on the offensive from the get go.
It was the Philippines who got onto the score sheet first with Mariano Suba punishing the mistake from Brunei defender Mohamad Azirul Asmadi Aji to score past keeper Muhd Amirul Hakim Zulkarnain.
But the lead was just for less than a minute as Abdul Mateen ran in from the right for a fabulous grounder beyond the reach of Philippines keeper Jessie Semblante.
Going into the second half, it was Brunei who pushed ahead where a dangerous run was met with a foul on Muhammad Nur Asyraffahmi Norsamri, who then got up to blast his team into the lead with a well taken penalty.
The Philippines upped the tempo in search of the equaliser and in the 55th minute, they drew level with a fabulous header from captain Fidel Tacardon who nodded home a Robert Wilson corner.
However, Brunei seemed to be a little more determined on the day as Wadud then provided them with the winning header from a Muhammad Nur Asyraffahmi cross in the 65th minute.
The Philippines threw everything they had soon after with the hope of drawing the game to steal at least a point, but it was not to be as the score stood all the way to the finish.
“We made some mistakes and that gifted the game to Brunei,” said Suba. “Now we have to made the corrections in training to make sure that we get better for the next match.”
NATIONAL coach Kwon Oh-son wants Brunei to come back stronger at the next SEA Games after returning without a point from this year’s edition in Kuala Lumpur.
Brunei started off with a 2-1 loss to hosts Malaysia before a 6-0 defeat to Myanmar and a 4-0 loss to Laos. The team completed their Group A campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Singapore on Wednesday before returning to Brunei early today morning.
“Overall the performance was there, but the results were disappointing,” said Kwon.
“We gave a good fight in the games against Malaysia and Singapore, but we were not as focused or as confident in the games against Laos and Myanmar.
“We cannot stop here. A lot of these players are eligible to play at the next SEA Games in 2019, so we have to maintain this team and try harder then,” added the South Korean.
Present at the Brunei International Airport to welcome the team home were National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) Acting Vice President Hj Madli Mohd Yussof and other NFABD officials.
“I want to congratulate you as you gave it your best at the SEA Games, although there are some other things which need analysis and more work,” said Hj Madli.
“Praise has to be given for your performances against Malaysia and Singapore… And I hope you will keep training hard to produce improved results in the future.”
BRUNEI’S manager Ah Chua Bangau praised the national Under-22 team’s depth after their slim 1-0 loss to Singapore in their last 2017 SEA Games match on Wednesday.
The defeat meant Brunei finished bottom of the five-team Group A table without a point to their name, but Ah Chua said there were some positives to take from the match at the Selayang Municipal Stadium in Selangor.
“We started with all of our substitutes and two of our first-11, and the players who were given the trust to play tried their best - although there were some nerves,” he said.
“I am proud of the players because they were able to carry out the tasks handed to them by the coach (Kwon Oh-son).
“Overall the team competed well and were able to prevent Singapore from scoring in the first half.
“Singapore launched many attacks but they were saved by our goalkeeper Muhammad Ishyra Asmin Mohd Jabidi, who was named Man of the Match.
“We were also able to create a few chances but they were not converted,” he added.
Brunei held Singapore at bay until the 75th minute, when a cross into the box hit Brunei’s Khalid Wassadisalleh Hj Mahmud’s thigh and bounced past Muhammad Ishyra.
Filling in for Haimie Anak Nyaring, Muhammad Ishyra was a solid presence in the Brunei goal and produced key saves late in the first half and early in the second half to deny Singapore’s attacks.
Though Singapore mounted many attacks in the second half, Brunei’s organised defence prevented Singapore from scoring and were unlucky to concede the own goal.
Tomorrow’s semi-finals will see Malaysia take on Indonesia and Thailand face Myanmar.
SEA Games (Group A) | Shah Alam Stadium | Mon 14 Aug | 8.45pm By Vijhay Vick
The hosts’ first match and they will be out to ensure there are no slip ups in the SEA Games gold medal hunt, which though a tall order is what the Malaysia Under-22s are aiming for.
Malaysia, Myanmar and Singapore will look at their matches against Brunei as must wins with the biggest score line possible to get a high goal difference, but Brunei will not be easy to break down.
Australia struggled to break this Bruneian squad at the AFC Under-23 qualifiers in July, only managing a 2-0 win. Myanmar and Singapore, however, put three and four respectively past them.
Malaysia may be tempted not to field their strongest 11 because of the clash with neighbouring rivals Singapore just two days later. Several players in the squad did not look comfortable playing two matches in three days at the qualifiers in Bangkok last month.
Yet there should be enough strength in the squad, whether it is a weakened line-up or not, for the Malaysians to prevail. A nervy start is what Malaysia Under-22 coach Ong Kim Swee repeated reminded his players to avoid.
Malaysia only managed a 1-0 win in the 2015 opener against Timor Leste in Singapore. The Malaysians lost their cool in the match and Nazmi Faiz Mansor was sent off for spitting at an opponent. He later received a six-match ban and was sent back from the Games.
N. Thanabalan is the only player not available for selection due to a knee injury. The attacker underwent a MRI scan and is expected to be ready to face Singapore on Wednesday.
Penang forward S. Kumaahran is back in training after reporting to camp with a hamstring injury. He could, however, only see action from off the bench as options are plenty with the likes of Jafri Firdaus Chew, Akhyar Rashid and Syafiq Ahmad all in good condition.
Rotation will be key because of the scheduling and Ong could be tempted to rest players although it is the opening match as following clashes against Singapore and Myanmar are expected to determine Group A’s outcome.
Malaysia need to be at their best against Singapore and Myanmar.
KEY PLAYER: SYAFIQ AHMAD
The Kedah youngster was lively against Indonesia in the AFC Under-23 qualifiers and his absence against Thailand in the following match was felt as Malaysia lacked the creativity up front to make the most of the little possession they had.
Syafiq is expected to start on the left side of a three-man forward line and he tends to drop to the fill the vacuum between central midfield and the attack.
Syafiq also tends to run with the ball, skipping past defenders with his quick feet to open up space.
FACTS & FIGURES
Brunei are largely a squad in progress. Only seven members of the squad are ineligible for the next games while Malaysia have seven eligible for the 2019 edition.
This is the third edition running both teams were drawn in the same group. Malaysia defeated Brunei 2-0 in 2015 and 2013.
Malaysia defeated Brunei 5-0 when the two countries met in the opening match when Malaysia last hosted the Games.
Malaysia 3 Brunei 0. The region’s minnow may be rigid at the back but the host are expected to run clear winners.
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (8 August 2017) – His Royal Highness Prince Sufri Bolkiah, the President of the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) has advised the nation’s SEA Games-bound athletes to think positive ahead of the biennial championship.
The 29th edition of the SEA Games will be held on 19-30 August 2017 although football will start earlier on 14 August.
“Think positive and remain focussed,” said Prince Sufri. “You have to think positive, and that you can play (against) any team. Try your best and show them what you’ve got. We want to play and show other countries we have a good team.
“Also, control your temper.”
For men’s football, Brunei Darussalam have been placed in Group A against Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos and Singapore
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (27 July 2017) – Substitute Shahfiq Ghani netted a late winner to give Geylang International a narrow 1-0 win over Brunei DPMM in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Monday night.
With the win, the Eagles leapfrogged Hougang United into fifth place in the nine-team table on 21 points having played a game more than Warriors FC.
On the other hand, the defeat was the tenth of the season for the Wasps as they sit second from bottom with only four points from 12 games played.
The hosts had a chance to grab the lead in the 11th minute after Shahrazen Said headed Azwan Ali Rahman’s corner to the far post but Adi Said failed to get a touch to it.
Geylang went on the attack four minutes later but winger Gabriel Quak could only head over.
Ricardo Sendra was on target in the 22nd minute but was foiled by DPMM custodian Awangku Mu’izzuddin who was there for the save.
Geylang goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari then denied Shahrazen and fortunately for them the ball ended at the wrong side of his right hand post.
The visitors came close to breaking the deadlock just before half-time but Quak’s effort was came off the upright.
Adi had a good opportunity to put the hosts in front three minutes after the interval but his shot went inches wide.
Quak sent a freekick from the right to the far post on the hour mark but Sendra failed to connect on it before Azwan Ali volleyed over from inside the box at the other end moments later.
Steve Kean’s side were presented with an opportunity to open the scoring in the 62nd minute after Yuki Ichikawa had handled the ball inside the box
Daud Gazale stepped up to take the ensuing spotkick but Syazwan dived low to his left to deny the former his first goal in DPMM colours.
Shahfiq was then introduced in the 66th minute after second-half substitute Min Thiha was stretchered off after being on the pitch for less than 20 minutes.
DPMM had back-to-back chances with Adi heading straight at Syazwan before Azwan Ali put another over in a space of a minute.
However, it was the Eagles who went in front in the 81st minute after Faritz Hameed was given space to dribble into the box from the left.
He then put the ball into the middle for Shahfiq to head home and claim all three points from the encounter.