The group winners of the 2017 Brunei DST Playoffs will occupy the final two spots of next season Brunei DST Premier League, Brunei's second tier, following the release of the timetable which is scheduled to start next Saturday.
Kilanas FC and Besa FC, the bottom two teams from last season's Brunei DST Premier League, vacated the Brunei DST Premier League and have been included in the playoffs as well as non-league sides Tunas FC, DSP United, MSN United FC and Hawa FT.
DSP United and MSN United both reached the final rounds of qualifying in the Brunei-Muara District Football League earlier this year which was won by newly promoted Brunei DST Super League outfits Al Idrus Junior.
The club made history after sealing back-to-back promotions having also lifted the Brunei DST Premier League title in their only season.
DSP have also already proven that they can beat Besa in the DST FA Cup last year which will serve them in good stead in their Group 'B' match-up which also feature Hawa FT.
Kilanas FC, who were only competing in the Brunei DST Super League, Brunei's top flight, a couple of seasons ago, face the unwanted prospect of dropping out of league football as they look to overturn their misfortunes in Group 'X alongside Tunas FC and MSN United.
The way the group have been drawn showed that Kilanas or Besa have not been paired together as both look to make an immediate return to the Brunei DST Premier League.
The group winners will not be facing each other as two slots have been awarded in the second tier of Brunei football.
DSP will play Hawa on January 7 while Tunas and MSN United will meet on January 9.
If DSP win against Hawa and repeat the feat against Besa on January 11, they will go through to the Brunei DST Premier League regardless of Besa's result against Hawa on January 16.
The scenario also applies to Tunas if they win back-to-back matches with Kilanas next on their radar in January 14.
The remaining game includes MSN United - who like DSP fell in the final hurdle in the Brunei-Muara District Football League - hosting Kilanas on January 23.
All matches will be played at the Sungai Kebun Sports Complex in an 8.15pm kickoff.
Brunei Darussalam face a daunting task in the upcoming 2016 Asean Football Federation (AFF) Futsal Championship after being drawn alongside 11-time winners Thailand, which will be held at the Indoor Stadium Huamark in Bangkok from Januar 23-29.
The tournament ws originally supposed to be held at the end of October this year but it was postponed by the Football Association of Thailand following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Brunei face a make-or-break encounter against Timor Leste in the opening game, their closest hope of replicating their finest result in the tournament when they sealed fourth place in the 2001, 2005 and 2008 editions.
With only three teams in Group 'A' largely caused by the withdrawal of Vietnam and Singapore, a win in the opening group game from either side could skyrocket into the semifinals given that Thailand are expected to top the group.
The only other winners in the tournament, Indonesia, have been drawn in Group 'B' alongside Malaysia, Myanmar and Laos.
The Wasps recorded their sole victory over Singapore in the last edition though the latter were returning from a 13-year absence and also matched Timor Leste despite ending in defeat.
Brunei also have memories-of their 12-2 hiding at the hands of Thailand in the previous edition. While Brunei's full squad is yet to be released, Malaysia news agency Bernama have released the confirmed futsal squad players of the Malaysia national futsal team who will be taking part in the 13th edition of the AFF Futsal Championship.
The report highlighted that Malaysia national futsal coach Chiew Chun Yong is hoping that seven youngsters -all below the age of 22 - will be firing in all cylinders.
MS ABDB team manager Major (A) Razanol Hardi Abd Razak will be wary of the threat that Najip I-Team possess ahead of the 2016 Brunei DST FA Cup final at the Berakas Sports Complex tomorrow.
The team manager highlighted that Najip will not take them lightly and will devise their own strategy to try and overcome the cup holders.
"For the last few matches during the FA Cup, we noticed that the rest of the teams have adapted themselves so the challenge can be very tough," said Major (A) Razanol during a press conference at the NFABD House yesterday.
MS ABDB the most successful team in the competition - survived a major scare in the fourth round when they escaped from a shock defeat after Razimie Ramlli's last-gasp equaliser before the striker netted an extra-time winner against Al Idrus Junior "I'm sure for our next match against'
Najip I-Team they will not make it easy for us. I'm sure they will have their own strategy to give us a good fight," he added.
Meanwhile, Najip 1-Team hoped for a good showing in their second final appearance against the same team whom they met in 2014.
"We will be giving our best in the final. We are deeply aware that MS ABDB have triumphed in the competition in 2013, 2014 and 2015," said a Najip I Team representative who also recognised that MS ABDB are the defending champions on paper.
"It will be a bonus for us if we end up winning the final," continued the representative adding that he hoped that luck would favour them.
Najip I Team expressed their hopes of winning the FA Cup trophy while MS ABDB hoped to defend the title.
On another note, Haji Mohd Noor bin Haji Abd Hamid, who chaired the press conference, expressed hopes of a quality, exciting and highly disciplined final in aiding the development of football in the country.
His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, President of the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam received the AFC President's Recognition Award For Grassroots Football 2016 (Aspiring) in the annual prestigious AFC Awards ceremony held in Abu Dhabi. On hand to present the award was Ms. Han Un Gyong, Executive Committee Member from DPR Korea.
This is Brunei Darussalam's second award after winning it last year. NFABD ran regular technical and promotional activities while maintaining several areas of cooperation with both governmental and non-governmental partners.
The nominations for the award are based on a points system which takes into account several criteria such as the structure and management of grassroots football as well as the philosophy and policy of Member Associations.
MS ABDB progressed to the semi-finals of the Brunei DST FA Cup 2016 after edging Kota Ranger FC 1-0 at the Berakas Sports Complex last night.
Abd Azizi All Rahman's strike in the 47th minute proved enough to settle the contest which saw both sides struggling to cope with the pitch conditions following the early rainfall.
The notable absentees for the army personnel were national team players Mohd Baharin Hamidon and Razimie RamIli who were ineligible for selection due to suspension.
First choice goalkeeper Mohd Tarmlzi Haji Mat Johari, who featured in AFC Solidarity Cup games against Macau and Laos, Haji Mohd Yusof Haji Matyassin and Azizi Ali Rahman all made starts.
MS ABDB's defender Haji Mohd Yusof Haji Matyassin lurked on the far post but ballooned his shot wide after reacting to a corner.
The army personnel delivered a good cross into the box but Khairuddin bin Mohd Azahari could not guide his header towards goal.
MS ABDB substitute Mohd Safarudin Azami gave chase to a loose ball deep into the second half and almost beat the last defender which would have given him only the goalkeeper in his sights but could not mark his appearance with a goal.
Meanwhile at the Tutong Sports Complex, Indera SC marched to the semifinals after beating Kasuka FC 3-1. Awangku Mohd Asrin gave Kasuka a dream start in the 3rd minute but Hamizan Aziz pegged his side back into level terms in the 18th minute.
Afindi Yati's own goal in the 56th minute turned the tie on its head before Mohd Nur Akmal completed the scoring in the 69th minute.
MS ABDB will meet Indera SC in a mouth-watering clash in the semi-finals of the Brunei DST FA Cup on December 16 while the other semi-final pits Tabuan Under-17 and Najip I-Team.
Kuching: Macau coach Tam Iao San is hoping first choice striker Nicholas Torrao can make a goal scoring return to the team when they take on Brunei Darussalam in the semi-finals of the AFC Solidarity Cup Malaysia 2016 on Saturday evening.
Torrao was suspended for the 1-1 draw with Sri Lanka on Wednesday evening and flew back to Macau due to work commitments, but the 28-year-old forward will return to Kuching in the early hours of Saturday morning to join his team mates for the last four meeting at Sarawak Stadium.
The Benfica de Macau forward is the tournament’s leading scorer with four goals in his first two games at the competition but Tam (pictured, left) is confident his team can succeed, with or without the striker.
“Torrao has already gone back to Macau because of his job after the Laos match,” said Tam. “He was also suspended and he got a little bit of an injury, but the results we have got in this tournament means that the people in Macau have their eyes focused on the national team and are happy with the results.
“We will try to arrange for him to be back for the semi-final. He has to finish his work on Friday, so he will be back on Saturday, early in the morning. Every team has their difficulties and sometimes you miss important players, but the others have to take responsibility. We play as a team and this is very important.
“This is a new chapter for Macau and Brunei to enter the semi-finals and we will make sure both of us honour the importance of the tournament and we want to show our football. All of us from Macau, the players, coaching staff, the whole team have done their best. We tried to pass through the group matches and our next target is to fight for the final, but both teams are the same.”
“It was pretty easy to bring their confidence back up, the players understand why they lost and the problems they had,” said the coach from Korea Republic. “I tried to give them some feedback and they accepted that.
“We won 4-0 against Timor-Leste and lost 3-0 against Nepal, so it was a very good match to get feedback for the players. They have prepared themselves well to perform at their best level in tomorrow’s match.
“It’s a very important game because all four teams in the semi-finals are strong. Macau has a really strong attack, midfield and defenders but we are happy to face them. The semi-final is sudden death, there’s only winners and losers. There is no second chance. It’s important the players do well and whoever wins will qualify for the final.”
Kuching: Nepal booked their place in the semi-finals of the AFC Solidarity Cup Malaysia 2016 on Tuesday evening as Group A winners with a 3-0 win over Brunei Darussalam at Sarawak Stadium.
A goal in each half from Nawayug Shrestha and Bharat Khawas before a late penalty from Bimal Gharti gave coach Koji Gyotoku’s side their first win of the tournament and, after a scoreless draw with Timor-Leste in their opening game, moved the Nepalese on to four points from two matches.
Despite the defeat Brunei will also progress to the semi-finals, where they will meet Macau, who are already assured of top spot in Group A after back-to-back wins in their opening two games in the tournament.
Nepal will meet either Laos or Mongolia, with the two teams set to battle it out on Wednesday to determine who advances to the last four of the competition.
Both Nepal and Brunei made one change from their previous game in the tournament, with Brunei calling up Hairol Azaman to replace Shafie Efenddy while Nepal switched Anjan Bista with striker Khawas in an attempt to find a solution to their inability find the back of the net.
Within eight minutes of the start, the Nepalese had fashioned out their first chance of the game when Nawayug Shrestha made a firm connection with his header, only for the ball to fly safely into the arms of goalkeeper Wardun Yussof.
As the half wore on, however, it was Brunei who exerted the greater amount of pressure. Azwan Saleh pulled his shot from just outside the area wide of Kiran Kumar Limbu’s goal while Shahrazen Said saw his header cleared off the line by Rabin Shrestha.
With seven minutes left on the first half clock, Said found himself with space behind the Nepal defence, only to see his shot from the tightest of angles saved by the goalkeeper.
As the game edged towards the halftime break, Nepal took the lead with their first goal of the tournament so far. Nawayug Shrestha saw his initial attempt on goal saved by Yussof, only for the goalkeeper to spill the ball and the striker to score at the second attempt.
With 18 minutes to go the Nepalese guaranteed themselves all three points when Nawayug Shrestha turned from scorer to provider, heading the ball across goal and into the path of Bharat Khawas, who netted with a perfectly executed strike from 15 yards out that flew into the bottom corner.
Gharti then scored from the spot 10 minutes from time, smashing the ball into the roof of the net after he was bundled over in the penalty area as Nepal sealed an emphatic win.