14 October 2012

Wasps sting Timor Leste

Sunday, October 14, 2012
BRUNEI ended their ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup qualifiers on a high note after sending Timor Leste packing with a 2-1 victory at the Youth Training Centre in Yangon last night.

The Wasps only had bragging rights to play for as they were already out of the running after the earlier match between Myanmar and Laos, both who qualified, ended in a 0-0 draw.

Timor Leste needed at least a draw to make it into the tournament proper scheduled from Nov 24 Dec 22, but goals by Adi Said and Muhd Azwan Ali Rahman in each half handed Brunei the victory.

The result means Brunei have won all of their three encounters against Timor Leste, defeating them 3-2 during the 2006 edition of the qualifiers in Cambodia and 4-1 during the 2008 edition in Cambodia.

Brunei end this year's campaign fourth in the five-team table with six points, with Timor Leste ahead on goal difference. Myanmar go through with 10 while Laos finish with seven.

Brunei made six changes from the starting lineup that featured in the 3-1 loss to Laos on Thursday, the most notable being the DPMM FC duo of striker Shahrazen Said and left-back Sairol Hj Sahari who were out due to food poisoning and a knee injury respectively.

Timor Leste, on the other hand, were without striker Murilo Almeida who was serving a one game suspension for picking up two yellow cards.

The tournament's top scorers with nine goals heading into last night's tie, Timor Leste also had the height and size advantage though Brunei seemed unfazed.

Timor Leste almost broke the deadlock in the opening minute but saw the ball cleared off the line, and Diogo Santos Rangel had a chance to put Timor Leste ahead in the 15th but saw his effort deflected just wide for a corner.

Brunei goalkeeper Wardun Yussof easily handled the ensuing corner-kick and launched a quick goal-kick which led to Adi scoring on the other end.

The ball took a hard bounce in midfield and Timor Leste defender Anggisu Barbosa slipped and allowed Adi through on goal the foward confidently slotting the ball past Timor Leste shotstopper Emerson Cesario to give the Sultanate the lead.

Cesario was called into action again in the 24th minute as he had to keep out a long range effort by Mohd Haizul Rani Metusin.

The Sultanate's backline was keeping the Timor Leste attack at bay, denying them any clear-cut chances.

Timor Leste were delivering the ball into the box but never seriously threatened Wardun, thought they had another good chance to equalise just before the break with an attempt by Emilio Da Silva rolling across the face of the Brunei goal.

Brunei almost doubled their lead in the 65th minute with Ak Muhd Fakharazzi Pg Hj Hassan and Muhd Helmi Zambin playing a quick one-two on the right before the latter sent in a cross, which Md Najib Hj Tarif couldnt control for a better shot.

Wardun made sure that Brunei stayed ahead in the 70th minute after diving to the right to save an Alan Pinheiro shot, and three minutes later, Muhd Azwan Ali Rahman had a good chance to make it 2-0 but fired hopelessly wide despite only having the goalkeeper to beat. He would made amends for his mistake soon after though.

He was the fastest to the rebound after captain Rosmin Hj Mohd Kamis had unleashed a shot from outside the box and Cesario fumbled it, slotting home past the goalkeeper's right and going on to celebrate with the rest of the team.

Timor Leste weren't done yet though, and pulled one back in the 79th minute after Jesse Pinto headed home.

They were firing on all cylinders in search of the equaliser which would see them qualify and came close when Pinheiro saw his free-kick bounce off the right post in injury time.

However, it all went wrong when Adi sent in a cross which was met by Wellinto Rocha dos Santos and Cesario picked up the ball with the referee calling a foul on a backpass.

It ignited protests by the Timor Leste players but it spelt the end of their campaign.

National football head coach Kwon Oh-son was all smiles after the win.

"It was a good game. We came prepared and I'm satisfied with the performance of my players," Kwon told The Brunei Times.

"We knew we couldn't qualify anymore but I told the players to never give up and they responded well," added the South Korean.

Timor Leste's head coach Emerson Alcantara also praised his players for their efforts.

"That is why I love football, it is always full of surprises," said the Brazilian.

"We played together as a family and I think we have earned the respect of the other countries in the region."

The Brunei Times

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