10 December 2011

East Kalimantan dent Brunei's hopes for football gold

Yee Chun Leong

Friday, December 9, 2011

A RADIANSYAH brace yesterday dented Brunei's hopes for a football gold at the 4th Borneo Games.

Hosts East Kalimantan handed the national Under-21 team a 2-1 loss despite playing with 10 men for almost 30 minutes.

Contested at the Utama Palaran Stadium, the Sultanate had a bright start and took the lead through Adi Said in the 18th minute the striker weaving through the East Kalimantan defence to score.

But East Kalimantan were quick to reply and equalised just two minutes later through Radiansyah.

The match was deadlocked at 1-1 at halftime and Brunei were given the numerical advantage in the second half when East Kalimantan had one of their players sent off in the 62nd minute.

The Sultanate created three good chances, but failed to convert them.

They would then rue the missed chances as East Kalimantan stole all three points with Radiansyah scoring with a freekick in the 87th minute his second of the match.

The national assistant coach Hj Md Rosanan Abdullah Samak felt that the team should have closed out the game when they had the advantage, but luck was not on their side.

"We had a good chance of winning the game, but we just couldn't score despite getting three very good looks in the second half," said Hj Md Rosanan during an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.

"We are not blaming the referees, but there were some really poor calls in the game," he added.

According to Hj Md Rosanan, a foul should have been given to East Kalimantan in the build-up to the equaliser when Brunei skipper Muhammad Azwan Ali Rahman was tackled by two players.

He added that there was also a clear handball, but the goal stood.

The second goal also came through a controversial freekick. The assistant coach claimed the tackle that led to the winning goal was not a foul.

"It actually broke the concentration of the players, but we will not take that as an excuse because we failed to execute on our chances," said Hj Md Rosanan.

"But, overall the performance was okay. We can still improve because the team are definitely not up to their full potential yet," he added.

"The confidence of the players is not at 100 per cent yet. They just need more games," concluded the assistant coach.

The Borneo Games is considered a good warm-up for the national team as they are also preparing for the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) on Feb 25.

Brunei still have one more game left in the round-robin competition, against South Kalimantan tomorrow.

They still have a chance for gold should Sarawak defeat East Kalimantan by a favourable scoreline and they go on to beat South Kalimantan.The Brunei Times

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