20 June 2018

Brunei drawn in Group ‘B’ in AFF meet

 By Fadhil Yunus  

BRUNEI Darussalam have been drawn in Group ‘B’ in the 2018 Asean Football Federation (AFF) Under-19 Championship in Indonesia next month.
The junior Wasps will be competing alongside two-time winners Myanmar, Malaysia, Timor Leste and Cambodia.
They will begin their campaign against Cambodia on July 2 before meeting Timor Leste on July 4 and Malaysia on July 6.
The young Wasps will conclude their group stage play against Myanmar on July 8.
Myanmar and AFC Championship- bound Malaysia, who came close in lifting the title on five occasions as finalists, have been penned as favourites to advance from the group having progressed in the previous tournament with ease. Brunei Darussalam finished fourth in the last edition after recording one win and three losses also in Group ‘B’.
Thailand are the defending champions after beating Malaysia 2-0 in the final at the Thuwunna Stadium in Thailand last year.
The venues of the tournament are Gresik and Sidoarjo and Brunei matches will be based at the Gelora Joko Samudro Stadium in Gresik.
Brunei, who will be making their eighth appearance, have never gone past the group stages.
The AFF tournament will also serve as preparation for the quartet of Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam ahead of the continental-level AFC Under-19 Championship in Indonesia in October.


29 May 2018

DPMM FC look to return to winning ways against Home

By Fadhil Yunus

DPMM FC are hoping to return to winning ways against Home United FC side in the Singapore Premier League at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore tonight.
The ‘Gegar Gegar’ men missed the chance to go second after the Young Lions drew in their last league appearance but could leapfrog Balestier Khalsa, who play on Sunday.
The Brunei-based outfit are facing the AFC Cup Asean Zone finalists who recently stunned Indonesian giants Persija Jakarta over two legs for a second time this season.
However, the Protectors have undergone a rough patch in the league having only managed two wins in seven matches and are also in search of a win in three appearances.
DPMM FC will be looking to exploit their back-line who alongside Geylang International FC have the worst defence in the league after shipping 20 goals.
Both sides have met earlier this season with DPMM FC enjoying a home win and it is no surprise that they will be looking for a repeat of such performance.
DPMM FC centre back Brian McLean will be hoping to give them a good fight as they did earlier this season during the six-goal thriller.
“It was a fair result (1-1 against Young Lions), we didn’t really create enough opportunities for ourselves to score,” McLean told the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) website.
“We are the masters of complicating things instead of doing the simple things well. Now we just need to focus on the recovery and get our mentality right for this tough, tough game.”
The Brunei side have a tough run of games which also includes a clash against table toppers Albirex Niigata (S) next Sunday.
“We are in the midst of a tough run of away games, but you can’t use it as a negative because that’s the fixtures. No doubt Home are a quality team and that’s why they’re in the AFC Cup Zonal final,” said the former Hibernian man.
“But it’s up to us to replicate the way we played against them at home earlier in the season and give them a good fight,” he added.
DPMM FC will have to buck the trend at the Bishan Stadium having not won in regulation time in their last six visits since their return to the Singapore Premier League in 2012.
However, Rene Weber’s charges are unbeaten in their last four matches and have clawed their way back from falling behind on three separate occasions.

05 May 2018

Playing in the AFF Suzuki Cup will bring Brunei together says Stephen Ng

The 22-year wait for Brunei Darussalam to return to the AFF Suzuki Cup is literally a generation worth of heartbreak for a nation who could well lean on a core group of players to guide them through qualification who weren’t even born the last time they featured in the finals.
Indeed since participating in the inaugural edition way back in 1996, the Wasps have failed to get back to the tournament proper and the national coach, Stephen Ng, knows just how important it will be for Brunei to do so this time around.
“Qualifying for the finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup is important for Brunei in our development program as it will help to motivate more young players to work harder and for them to look forward to playing against teams at the top level of ASEAN football.
“Football is still the most popular sport in Brunei and it will definitely help bring people together in the nation to cheer for the country if we qualify once again for the tournament proper.”
To do so Brunei will need to see off an equally ambitious Timor-Leste outfit that have also only once before reached the finals but Ng is confident that some strong recent showings against the Timorese will hold them in good stead come September’s home and away matches.
“If you look at the latest FIFA rankings (Timor are 190 & Brunei Darussalam are 194) then you can consider that we are probably on a similar playing level and while we will continue to work hard to prepare we can draw confidence from two recent victories over them in the Solidarity Cup and the last round of Suzuki Cup qualification in 2016.”
“I’m sure it will be a very close game this time around as we need to manage qualification over the two home and away legs but we’re looking forward to qualifying.”
Ng will likely rely on several of the nation’s impressive young talents to complete that task and some solid showings at youth level have fortified the coach’s belief that the nation is on the right track, especially after the U16 squad knocked over both Macau and Hong Kong in last year’s AFC U16 Championships.
“Brunei has done well with young players in recent years and we want that to continue so we can strengthen the senior team with continuous youth development that flows from one level to the next.”


DPMM FC recover from two goals down

|     Fadhil Yunus     |

DPMM FC denied Warriors FC their first win of the season in the Singapore Premier League after recovering from two goals down to draw 2-2 at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore last night.
Warriors, who were in search of their first league victory, scored in succession as a goal each from Kento Fukuda and Sahil Suhaimi was separated only by a minute from each other.
The visitors were awarded a penalty in the 35th minute as Volodymyr Pryyomov reduced the deficit for his fifth goal of the season.
The in-form Ukrainian found his second goal of the game to consolidate his position at the top of the scoring charts with six goals to his name.
The result cemented the ‘Gegar Gegar’ men in fourth place with seven points, eight points off the pace of league leaders Albirex Niigata (S), who had played a game more.
Suria Prakash, who came through the professional ranks of Balestier Khalsa, was one of the focal men in attack and his skillful touches drew DPMM FC players into committing a foul.
From the ensuing free-kick, Warriors striker Jonathan Behe, who was installed to the starting line-up could not get a header as DPMM FC put the ball to safety.
Sahil had quite an eventful half after getting himself in the books on top of scoring a goal and providing an assist after denying Mojtaba Esmaielzadeh the opportunity to break away.
DPMM FC forward Volodymyr made a lovely turn and pulled a good strike but it was a good height for Warriors goalkeeper to make the save.
The front three combined well with Adi Said the centre of their promising attacking play but Mojtaba blazed wide after he was unsettled by a Warriors defender.
Sahil shifted with the ball with his right leg enabling the DPMM FC defence to close him down and were unable to get the right shot away.
The counterattack nearly caught Warriors out cold after they stole possession as Volodymyr teed off his teammate but was crowded out by the hosts.
DPMM FC midfielder Azwan Salleh cushioned a header for Volodymyr who was closely marked before Azwan Ali Rahman fired the ball wide after arriving in time for the shot.
Adi Said was in a heap after Daniel Shafiq went in for a strong challenge as the Bruneian forward walked gingerly into the box.
Warriors conceded a soft free kick in promising area as Poh Yi Feng tugged Mojtaba’s shirt.
It was no surprise with the designated free-kick taker as Volodymyr, who already scored from a set-piece, struck a rasping drive which goalkeeper pushed the ball away to safety.
DPMM FC took a quick throw as the front unit combined but unfortunately one of the attackers could not find a touch to guide the ball into goal.
It was bad news for Kento Fukuda who suffered an injury setback and was stretchered off the field with Hafiz Sulaiman coming on as his replacement.
With the visitors dictating the tempo of the match, Behe did his defensive duties with a strong header as the hosts got the ball out of their half.
Warriors were closing ranks well and looking the runs of Behe who worked tirelessly on his own upfront.
However, the forward made a silly foul and invited more pressure for DPMM FC as they continued to build play though they had not been able to get things right in the final third.
Warriors had a respite after Hendra Azam switched play to Adi Said who was in an offside position. The home side had been living dangerously giving the ball away but DPMM FC were not able to capitalize from their mistakes.
With Warriors threatening a fast counter, Abdul Aziz Tamit demonstrated his reading abilities after coming first to the ball and putting the ball out for a throw.
Volodymyr punished the Warriors after he was allowed space and time to power the ball home after being set up by Adi Said.
Helmi Zambin tested goalkeeper Fashah Iskandar with a firm strike from outside the box but it landed straight at his arms.
Azwan Ali dinked the ball forward as Volodymyr sent his header wide in a quick build-up which also involved Helmi Zambin and Adi Said.
Helmi Zambin was given a final warning by the referee after downing Suria who showed nifty footwork.
Shamil Sharif’s free-kick then rattled against the woodwork with Haimie Anak Nyaring in full stretch.
Behe initiated a good team move with a neat touch allowing Ho Wai Loon through before switching the ball to Firdaus Kasman who crossed into the middle only for the visitors to diffuse the threat with a defensive header.
Warriors had a good chance after a player flicked the ball in the near post wide following another decent delivery by Shamil Sharif.
Behe evaded the challenges of Abdul Aziz and Brian McLean before firing his shot wide before creating another chance for himself though it was a weaker shot.
Suria delivered a ball into the far post but it was not a desired finish for his teammate who attempted an ambitious acrobatic kick.

Brunei crash out of HBT

|     Fadhil Yunus     |
BRUNEI Darussalam National Under-21 team crashed out of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy for Asean Youth Football Tournament 2018 after slipping to a 1-0 defeat to Myanmar in the final Group ‘A’ game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last night.
The young Tabuan’s exit from the competition drew parallels to the 2014 edition when they lost out on the competition by a single goal as a late leveller would have put them through.
Myanmar have been confirmed as group winners while Timor Leste took the runners-up spot while Singapore and Cambodia qualified from Group ‘B’ after the Angkor Warriors pulled off a 1-0 win they needed to advance.
The young Tabuan would have gone through with a win and they actually had the ball behind enemy lines as forward Faiq Jefri Bolkiah tried to lift the ball over a defender but there was no further harm since.
The hosts had to stay alert after Myanmar forward Zin Min Tun attacked the ball and rose high for a header but he was unsettled by the home defence.
The host nation avoided a scare after Muhammad Abdul Syakir misplaced his pass to the opposition midfielder Soe Lwin Lwin but fortunately the latter took a heavy touch.
Myanmar had a goal ruled out for offside but there was nothing wrong about their opener when they finally took the lead in the 35th minute.
The visiting forward Aung Kaung Mann released his shot which Brunei goalkeeper Ishyra Asmin Jabidi parried away only to the path of Zin who slammed his shot for the opening goal of the game.
The goal silenced the crowd and it nearly got worse after a free-kick from forward Lwin Moe Aung was deflected into the top corner which Ishyra pushed away for a corner.
Myanmar’s forward Aung Kaung then headed wide in the opening stages of the second half.
The visitors survived a scare after Than Htike Zin allowed the ball to roll into the path of Brunei forward Faiq Jefri Bolkiah but the latter could only hit his shot straight at the largely untroubled Myanmar goalkeeper Phone Thitsar Min.
The hosts were counting their lucky stars as Soe Lwin Lwin skied his effort wide after being played through though from a tight angle.
Myanmar substitute Pyae Sone Naing unleashed a fine drive from the edge of the box but it ended wide.
The Yadanarbon FC midfielder had another chance when his shot deflected off a Bruneian defender for another corner.

28 April 2018

Brunei beat Thailand to keep semi-final hopes alive

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (27 April 2018) – Hosts Brunei kept their hope for a place in the semi-finals of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy 2018 alive last night when they beat a confident Thai side 2-1 in a Group A tie at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.
The home team, which had conceded a close 1-0 defeat at the hands of Timor Leste in their opening game of the group, came out with all guns blazing against the Thais.
And in front of more than 25,000 fans, Naziruddin Ismail nailed the opener in the 71st minute before Thailand grabbed the equaliser through the prolific Sittichok Paso.
But DPMM FC striker Yura Indera Putera Yunos then nailed the winner deep in injury time to give Brunei their first full points of the competition.
The win allowed Brunei to move up to second in the standings behind Myanmar, who had earlier beaten Timor Leste 2-0.
A goal in each half off Win Naing Tun in the 27th minute and then Hein Htet Aung in the 90th minute gave Myanmar their first win and the driver’s seat in the group.


24 April 2018

Brunei lose to Timor Leste 1-0

By  Fadhil Yunus  

BRUNEI Darussalam National Under-21 Team began their campaign in Group ‘A’ of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy for Asean Youth Football Tournament 2018 with a 1-0 defeat to Timor Leste at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.
Timor Leste midfielder Jose Maria Dos Reis’s penalty in the 20th minute separated the two sides.
The visitors were awarded a penalty after Ammar Syafie Hassanuddin was adjudged to have fouled captain Jorge Sabas Victor in the box and to make matters worse received a yellow card for his troubles.
Jose Maria stepped up and tucked away the ensuing penalty, sending Brunei goalkeeper Ishyra Asmin Jabidi the wrong way.
Faiq Jefri Bolkiah, whom just linked up with the squad last week, created the best opportunity for Brunei after volleying the ball into goal which was deflected by a Timorese defender.
The hosts were agonisingly close to pulling level after an unmarked Faiq powered a header from a corner but was cleared off the line with goalkeeper Fagio Augusto Da Silva beaten.
Timor Leste forward Henrique hits the side-netting after the ball fell to him much to the relief of the Bruneian rearguard.
With Brunei unable to find an opening, they lost possession enabling Rufino Walter Gama to burst clear and after his initial chance was lost he nearly got a second bite of the cherry only for his shot to be cleared away.
Brunei made a decent chance after Hanif Aiman Adanan sets up the ball for Naziruddin Haji Ismail whose attempt was deflected for a corner.
Brunei midfielder Azim Izamuddin Suhaimi then tried a shot from distance after a corner was played short but his shot was easily saved by Da Silva.
Timor Leste forward Walter Gama, who proved a livewire, then surged forward and fired a shot and fortunately it was dealt with by the Brunei defence away for a corner.
Timor Leste defender Nidio Ricardo Ferreira Alves was also provided an opportunity but his shot was blocked away for a corner.
The hosts tried to apply pressure in the closing stages of the game but Timor Leste held on for the victory.