17 March 2015

Biggest game of my life’

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

NATIONAL team captain Azwan Salleh has called tonight’s 2018 World Cup first round qualifier against Chinese Taipei the biggest game of his life.
Brunei are looking to defend their one goal advantage which they earned when Adi Said scored in the 36th minute of the first leg at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung on Thursday, the goal ensuring the country it’s first win in the competition after losses in all 12 of their previous games.
Speaking during yesterday’s pre-match press conference, the experienced DPMM FC player said that the squad is all set for their home leg at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
“The players are all ready for the second game and we will put in 100 per cent,” promised Azwan.
“This is the biggest game of my life... As this is the biggest tournament that I have contested in,” added the 27-year-old left-back.
Brunei manager Hj Md Noor Hj Hamid acknowledged that Chinese Taipei were the better side last week but that their advantage – which was the first away goal the country has scored in 30 years competing in World Cup qualifiers – would prove crucial.
“We have the advantage with an away goal and if we win it is another bonus for us,” said Hj Md Noor during the press conference.
“Chinese Taipei are a very strong team as seen from the previous match… From statistics it was 60-40, but our players fought very well.
“We were very lucky as Chinese Taipei had many chances but our goalkeeper Wardun (Yussof) as well as our defence played well.
“We hope that people in Brunei will come and support us for this match,” continued Hj Md Noor at the Lecture Theatre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
Chinese Taipei coach Chen Kuei-Jen admitted his team was upset after Thursday’s loss but insisted that the side have their minds firmly set on a win tonight.
“It is very simple. You win, you qualify,” said Chen.
“We are disappointed that we lost the first match but we’ve already forgotten about it.
“We are focused and prepared. This second game is more important as we are looking for the win,” he said, adding that the match will be “very interesting and exciting”.
Kick off is at 8.15pm.
Meanwhile, the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) would like to inform the public that admission to the match is free of charge.
However, as per FIFA’s requirements, NFABD will give away tickets at the gate entrance to ensure to record the number of spectators. NFABD has prepared 10,000 tickets; 2,000 for the roofed section and 8,000 for unroofed section.
Spectators can still enter the stadium provided it does not exceed the stadium’s 20,000 capacity.
Entrance for both gates open at 5.45pm.
Other games will see Bhutan, ranked 209th and last by FIFA, take a 1-0 lead into the second leg of their tie with Sri Lanka
Timor Leste hold a 4-1 advantage over Mongolia while Pakistan trail Yemen 3-1.
India take a 2-0 lead to Nepal while Cambodia head to Macau with a healthier 3-0 advantage.

The Brunei Times, Reuters

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