Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Timor Leste and Myanmar in town for HBT
BOTH the Timor Leste and Myanmar national Under-21 football teams touched down in Brunei last night making them the second and third teams to arrive for the 2012 Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT).
Myanmar are one of the favourites for the title this year after finishing second best in the past two editions.
The last edition in 2007 saw them lose 5-4 on penalties against Thailand in the final. They had also lost to the same opponents 3-0 in the final back in 2005.
The Myanmar side are training under head coach South Korean Park Sung-wha.
They have been drawn in Group A with Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines and Singapore.
They will be playing the first match of the competition which is against the Philippines on Friday at the Berakas Sports Complex at 4.15pm.
On the other hand, Timor Leste will be making their debut in the competition and are attending as a guest team for the Feb 25-March 9 biennial event for the Under-21 football teams in the region.
The team in Group B with hosts Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia are coached by Japanese Norio Tsukitate and they will open their campaign against Malaysia on Monday at the Berakas Sports Complex at 8.15pm.
The squad also consist of the two oldest players in the tournament: forward Emilio Ribeiro Da Silva, 30, and Miguel Santos Soares, 28.
"We want to make it to the next round, but it will be very difficult for us. We have only started training one month ago, but I do hope that we can come up with good results," Tsukitate told The Brunei Times upon arrival at the Brunei International Airport in Berakas last night.
The HBT winners will get $20,000, with the runners-up getting $10,000 and the third-placed side winning $5,000. There will be new champions this year with back-to-back winners Thailand pulling out of the competition last week due to unforeseen circumstances.
The rest of the teams are scheduled to arrive in Brunei today and they will take part in the march past parade for the 28th National Day Celebrations tomorrow.The Brunei Times