29 September 2012

Captain Najib apologises for defeat

Friday, September 28, 2012
NATIONAL team captain Najib Hj Tarif made a public apology following the woeful 5-0 defeat to Indonesia in a friendly match at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Wednesday.

Brunei's inability to spark on the attack, and unable to sustain any pressure going forward, while losing possession far too easily was the main reason for the defeat.

Meanwhile Irfan Bachdim was the star for Indonesia, 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup runners up, as he bagged a hat-trick in the win.

Irfan put Indonesia in front after sending goalkeeper Mohd Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yussof the wrong way in a 23rd minute penalty he converted after being brought down in the box.

Brunei were a further 2-0 down in the first half after Indonesia's Vendry Ronaldo Mofu unleashed a powerful 30-yard shot which screamed into the goal after hitting the crossbar on its way in.

Indonesia added three more goals in the second half to make it 5-0.

By the time Irfan latched onto a Hendra Adi Bayauw pass and calmly slotted home after dribbling past the Brunei defenders in the 50th minute, some of the Bruneian support had begun leaving the stadium.

Hendra Adi would add goal number four after tapping home a square pass from Muhamad Nur Iskandar in 63rd minute before Irfan completed his hat-trick in the 72nd minute of the game.

Brunei's Captain for the night, Najib Hj Tarif said that the players were wholly responsible for the defeat.

"All I can say is I am sorry for the fans that made it to the stadium on the night. We did not perform well in the game. It was not a good result and I am sorry to disappoint the fans," said an emotional Najib.

"There was no balance in our movement during the game. We did not work together in the game (either). We lost (our) focus, we did not create chances and our movement was too predictable. We were not nervous of playing against Indonesia," he said.

Instead he pointed towards the team's lack of playing time together as a more plausible explanation to their disappointing performance.

"This team is new. It was only formed for few months. I only got called up to join the national team last month. We need more time together and we are running out of time. We were without players from the DPMM FC (squad) and the result might have been different," Najib explained.

Brunei were without 9 DPMM FC players in the squad as they are preparing for Home United FC in the Singapore League (S-League) on Saturday, the game is considered the toughest of the four matches as the club close out their season.

"I am not taking anything away from the Indonesia team. They were the better team on that night. We (have) got to take responsibility of the defeat. Indonesia are technically better than us and they are always ahead of us in football. They are one of the strongest team in Southeast Asian region," said the Captain.

"We hope that this defeat will teach us lessons. I hope that the players will see this as a reason to work hard and bounce back in the tournament (AFF Suzuki Cup qualifier) in Myanmar," added Najib.

The Sultanate face Myanmar on Oct 5, Cambodia on Oct 9, Laos on Oct 11 and Timor Leste on Oct 13 in the AFF Suzuki Cup qualifiers.

All matches are set to be played at the Youth Training Centre in Yangon.The Brunei Times 

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