THE FA Cup curse continues for Brunei giants QAF FC. Playing in their first DST Group Brunei FA Cup final, the Brunei Premier League I champions were left crying in the rain when arch-rivals the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB) beat them 2-1 to keep their crown.
QAF FC, who are the BPL I champions, the Champions Cup winners and the DST Group Brunei League Cup holders, went into last night's final at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas looking to create history by capturing a quadruple. But their dreams were shattered by poor defence.
QAF FC conceded two early goals, via Md Amalul Ariffin Shah Said's and Rosmin Hj Md Kamis's headers.
Vivan Francis Bayong's unexpected rocket in the 61st minute would cut the deficit, but the armymen held their nerves to make it a successful title defence.
Lt Col Dr Bahrin Hj Bintang, the manager of MS ABDB, was probably the happiest man at the stadium beaming from ear to ear after the match.
"Tonight's hard-earned victory makes us the three-time champions of the FA Cup. We have also been in six consecutive finals. Witnessing the players' spirited performance tonight, they really deserve to win it.
"The hardest obstacle we had to face in this match was QAF FC's import player. We played a fantastic first half, but Vivan's goal disrupted our rhythm," said the MS ABDB manager.
"QAF FC worked hard to win their first FA Cup, but MS ABDB were there to stop them."
QAF FC's coach, Md Ali Mustafa, does not share Lt Col Dr Bahrin's sentiments though, feeling his team were the 'winners'.
"I am very proud of my players. They gave a good performance. If it wasn't for the early mistakes that led to the goals in the first half, we would have won (the game) as we were dominant in the second.
"Though we did not win the Cup, I believe that we won the match. QAF FC have the best players of all," said Md Ali.