BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
BRUNEI are fully prepared for what looks to be its biggest match in years.
The Sultanate faces tournament favourites Myanmar in tonight's semi-final at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, with the game looking to be the largest test for many of the players in their young careers.
In the last four of its own tournament for the first time since the biennial event started in 2002, Brunei will have the hopes of the nation on their shoulders and Kwon Oh-son feels they can handle the pressure.
"It's a very big match for us and the players are all ready and focused," said Brunei's coach, who has led the team into the semis for the first time in three attempts.
"The most important thing for us is defensive organisation as soon as we lose the ball. We need to do that as fast as possible," he said.
"Kyaw Ko Ko is their best player and I know Myanmar head coach Park Sung-hwa has said Ko Ko who won the best player award in his country last year is the best striker in all of Myanmar," said the South Korean.
Another player Brunei will have to watch out for apart from Ko Ko who netted five times at last year's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games is captain Kyaw Zayar Win, the midfielder who currently leads the HBT goalscoring charts with five goals.
Brunei will have their own options in front of goal Adi Said being the deadliest.
Adi and Ko Ko are both tied on three goals heading into tonight's game.
Not only will key midfielder Md Hendra Azam Md Idris be back in the Brunei team, Adi the team's top scorer after netting in each of the three games he has played in will be back from the suspension which kept him out of Brunei's 1-0 win over Timor Leste on Monday.
True enough, Myanmar's manager Soe Moe Kyaw admitted Adi will be one of the players his team will have to watch out for.
"Brunei have four or five good players. Big players. Players like (striker) Adi Said, (midfielder and captain) Md Najib Hj Tarif and (midfielder) Md Azwan Ali Rahman," said the manager yesterday.
"We've worked hard to reach the semis and Brunei also deserve to be here. Brunei is not only tough but have a lot of supporters.
"I'm sure the match will be very tough (but) we will try our best. They play very well and the team has good combination play.
"Ko Ko and Zayar Win will play but they have slight injuries," added the manager.
The Brunei Times