LEBAK BULUS (5 Nov 2011) – Timor Leste fought back from being a goal down to beat Brunei 2-1 on the second match day of the Group B of men’s football that was played at the Lebak Bulus Stadium this evening – courtesy of a double from Murilo de Almeida.
Both teams were playing in their first game of the competition following the first match day of the group two days earlier.
And this evening, Brunei showed none of the chink or the uncertainty of being absence from this competition which they last took part in 2001 when they took the game to the Timorese.
With Timor Leste choosing to play a more offense-minded game by opting to put in three forwards in Antonio Sousa, Alan Pinheiro and Murilo de Almeida, it was Brunei who actually created the early chances.
Captain Azwan Muhd Salleh’s tested Timor goalkeeper Emerson Cesario with a sixth minute shot before further attempts from Hamizan Sulaiman and Mohd Hendra Mohd Idris were both thwarted.
Timor then replied through de Almeida in the 25th minute but beating two defenders, he poorly shot the ball out. That failure to score saw Brunei taking the advantage where after a poor clearance; Mohd Najib Tarif slammed the ball in for the lead.
The score at the end of the first half was 1-0 to Brunei.
Timor Leste were more determined in the second half and they kept up the pressure on Brunei with a double from captain Jesse Pinto but both times, he was denied by the woodwork just before the hour mark.
But there was no stopping Timor from clinching the equaliser in the 64th minute when off a free kick, de Almeida sets off a grounder to beat Brunei custodian Awangku Omar Salehudin.
In the 72nd minute, de Almeida then gave Timor the lead for the first time in the match when he had made good on a cross from Pinheiro after beating the offside trap earlier.
Two minutes to the end, de Almeida was presented with the chance for a hat-trick but he totally muffed his attempt with only the goalkeeper to beat.
“The result was good but we need to tighten up our game if we want to make past the group stage,” offered Pinto after the match.