09 October 2012

Confident Brunei ready for Cambodia

BRUNEI are confident they have what it takes to grab all three points in today's match against Cambodia in the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup qualifiers at the Youth Training Centre in Yangon.

They are coming off a 1-0 loss to hosts Myanmar on Friday but the result which came after an 84th minute goal was seen as a confidence booster for the squad considering how tightly contested the match was against the hosts, who are also the highest-ranked team in the competition.

National coach Kwon Oh-son watched Cambodia's last two matches, a 1-5 thrashing at the hands of Timor Leste on Friday and a 0-1 loss to Laos on Sunday, and he feels he has them figured out.

"They had problems in their defence in their last two matches," said Kwon in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.

"There hasn't been enough cover in defence ... and they gave their opponents too much space.

"We need to attack from both the sides and the middle.

"We will need good combination from the midfield and strikers to penetrate towards the goal.

"We require continuous concentration and focus. Teamwork is equally important as all players need to play as one mind.

"If one out of the 11 doesn't, it can result in our collapse.

"Our players have shown that they can cover well with good organisation on defence and I hope they will continue to follow instructions and keep up the good work.

"We need good concentration and to get good results," added the South Korean.

The national coach is also glad to see the improvements shown in Brunei football taking into account that the Under-21 side defeated Myanmar 3-2 in the semi-finals of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy in March and the senior squad only lost by a goal on Sunday.

The Sultanate is in search of their first international win in four years, with their last victory at this level coming in the 2008 edition of the competition when they defeated Timor Leste 4-1 in Cambodia.

But with their new-found confidence, Kwon believes that win will come sooner than later.

"There used to be a big difference between Brunei and Myanmar football but after the matches we played against them this year, I feel that we are on the same level," said the former South Korea national player.

"The players are feeling confident.

"They used to be afraid of strong teams like Myanmar but that mindset has changed.

"We will try to put up quality football for the rest of the games for our fans and supporters back home," concluded Kwon.

There are slight concerns for Kwon with midfielder Muhd Azwan Ali Rahman and hitman Shahrazen Said both still nursing muscle strains.

Leftback Sairol Sahari, meanwhile, has recovered from a bout of diarrhoea and should be available for selection.

Cambodia who will be out of the running if they lose today will be missing captain Sun Sophana who was sent off an hour into the loss against Laos.

The match kicks off at 3pm local time (4.30pm).

The second match pits Timor Leste against Laos at 6pm.

The Brunei Times

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