Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Thursday, March 1, 2012
BRUNEI should have had it in the bag but were too wasteful and have only themselves to blame.
The Sultanate crumbled in the last minute of the game and succumbed to a 2-1 loss to Vietnam in Group B of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) last night at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
"We had a few good chances but failed to convert. Should we have scored then it would have been a different story. Our players were just not focused and left their player open for a free header in the final play," said Hj Feisal Hj Eusoff, the Brunei team manager, in a post-match press conference.
"It was a 50-50 game and I believe we could have won it. Now we can only look forward and become a better team," he added.
One factor that changed the game was the injury to midfielder Md Hendra Azam Md Idris in the 21st minute after a malicious tackle by one of the Vietnamese players.
The team manager felt that the officiating of the match could have been better.
"We are sad about the judgement of the referee because there was no card given whatsoever when our player picked up a serious injury from the tackle," said Hj Feisal.
"It became a problem because he is one of our senior players. We thought that the referee's decisions at times were bad and some times failed to have the game under control.
"Fouls were even given when the tackle is clean and it distracted the mentality of the players in a way," he said.
The loss may be heartbreaking but assistant coach Hj Md Rosanan Abdullah Samak can seek refuge in the team's performance yesterday.
"I thought we played a good game but we had a slip up just at the end. I thought the stamina of the team was alright as well," said Hj Md Rosanan.
"There are still areas that require improvement in our game especially with the focus and concentration. It is important that we do it for the whole 90 minutes," he added.
The Brunei Times