06 March 2012

Smile, we made history

Jason Thomas

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

THERE was no denying the look on their faces when they walked into the room.

They took their time getting there, but when the trio arrived at the post-match Press conference last night, it was smiles all around.

Kwon Oh-son had just created history after becoming the first coach to lead Brunei to the semi-finals of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT), and the South Korean shared his delight with his assistant Hj Mohd Rosanan Abdullah Samak and the team's manager Hj Feisal Hj Eusoff.

Brunei beat Timor Leste 1-0 to book a place in the Last 4 of its own biennial tournament for the first time in four attempts last night with Kwon overseeing the previous two unsuccessful attempts in 2007 and 2005.

"We played a good game tonight (Monday night)," grinned Kwon at the Press conference at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

"Timor Leste were strong ... We had five players injured ... but we were patient," added the coach.

Queen's seminal "We Are The Champions" rang out the stadium after the match, a song that Hj Feisal felt did not fit the occasion.

"It's not over yet. We face Myanmar in Wednesday's semi-finals," insisted the manager.

"Of course, we feel proud to be in the semis. The teams in the HBT are all very strong," he added.

Md Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir netted the only goal in the 18th minute, and though Brunei had their chances, the second half belonged to Timor Leste.

Brunei seemed content to sit back and soak the pressure, but Hj Mohd Rosanan felt there was nothing wrong with that.

"I'm not saying we were defensive ... We only needed a draw to progress, we were just cautious," said ex-national player and 1999 Malaysia Cup winner.

Despite looking the better team in the second half, Timor Leste's coach Norio Tsukitate failed to find any positives from his team's performance.

"How do I look? Happy? No, I'm crying," he grimaced when asked how he felt about the defeat. "We didn't score, so how can I be happy? It doesn't matter how many chances we created, we didn't score.

"I don't think we played better in the second half. We just switched some players about and that confused the Brunei side," added the Japanese.The Brunei Times

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