12 August 2014

Brunei bounce back to beat Indonesia 3-1

Tuesday, August 12, 2014
BRUNEI bounced back from their opening day defeat to Cambodia on Saturday by defeating Indonesia 3-1 in Group B of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) last night.
Adi Said produced a heroic performance as a lone striker, bagging a hat-trick at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
[PHOTO: His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam joins the crowd at HBT Brunei-Indonesia match]
[Related story: Malaysia prevail 2-0 against Vietnam]
[Related story: Steady Cambodia down S'pore 3-1]
“I did not expect to score all the goals tonight, but I keep on trying and pushing myself forward to score,” said Adi in an interview with The Bunei Times after game.
“I knew that we were trying to make it solid defensively and I need to work extra hard as I am the only striker playing upfront.
“To score three goals against Indonesia is something very special for me,” he added.
Brunei fielded Adi alone upfront, in a 4-5-1 formation with two natural wingers Mohd Asnawi Syazni Abdul Aziz and Mohd Asri Hj Aspar on both flanks.
They started with Mohd Nurikhwan Othman, Ak Yura Indera Putera Pg Yunus and Mohd Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir in midfield.
Muhd Nurikhwan played a deeper role than Ak Yura Indera Putera and Mohd Aminuddin Zakwan, but the partnerships were fluid, and frequently switched around.
All four players are experienced and intelligent enough to make the fluidity work, and took advantage of the freedom to drift around the Indonesian penalty area.
Muhd Nurikhwan, who sat deep in midfield, got more and more time on the ball as Indonesia midfielders were caught too high up the pitch trying to support their striker.
The midfielder exploited this space by taking a bit of time before knocking some incredible long-range passes out wide, but also making a surprising number of forward runs to link up with the forwards.
Brunei started reasonably well closing down the midfield, getting into the faces of Indonesia midfielders, captain Evan Dimas Darmono and Paulo Oktavianus Sitanggang, early on.
The most notable system about Brunei’s attacks were the two wide players, Mohd Asri and Mohd Asnawi, making direct runs down the flanks with striker Adi making his diagonal run behind Indonesian defenders.
The key man however was Adi, who constantly made threatening runs between Indonesia's centre-backs.
His displayed superb control for his first goal in the ninth minute, latching on to a pass from midfield with his right foot, lifted the ball over an Indonesian's defender, before making his way into the penalty box and firing the ball past Indonesia goalkeeper Ravi Mudianto.
Adi doubled Brunei’s goal tally in the 40th minute. This time, he made a strong run at the Indonesian left flank to connect to a long ball.
As he skipped past Indonesian left-back Muhammad Fatchu Rochman, Adi sensed the Indonesian goalkeeper was off his line and chipped the ball over the goalkeeper from the edge of the penalty box in the 40th minute.
With his confidence sky high, Adi made it 3-0 just three minutes later with a wonderful long range dipping shot from 30 metres out to beat the Indonesia’s goalkeeper.
Despite Adi being the hero for the team, the performance of his teammate, goalkeeper Azman Ilham Hj Mohd Noor, should not be overlooked as the goalkeeper made a number of stunning saves throughout the game to protect Brunei’s lead.
The goalkeeper was forced to make a brilliant one-handed save in the 71st minute when Indonesia’s Ilham Udin Armaiyn took a shot from outside of the penalty box.
Ilham however managed to find the back of the net just a minute later when he easily tapped in Evan’s cross from the left to beat helpless Azman Ilham in goal.
Substitute Mohd Zulkhairy Hady Razali, who came on in the 80th minute for Mohd Asnawi Syazni, should have scored Brunei’s fourth after being set up by Adi.
A swift counter attack initiated by Adi saw Mohd Zulkhairy going one-on-one with the Indonesian goalkeeper, but the striker squandered the chance by firing wide.

The Brunei Times

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