13 March 2015

Brunei make history

Friday, March 13, 2015

IT WAS history made and advantage Brunei!
The national football team secured a vital 1-0 away win over Chinese Taipei in the first leg of their 2018 World Cup first round qualifier at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung last night, earning Brunei its maiden triumph in the competition after loses in all 12 previous games.
Adi Said’s 36th minute goal after a mix-up in the host’s defence was also the first away goal Brunei has scored in World Cup qualifiers in 30 years, making the night all the more special for the striker.
“This is the most important goal I’ve ever scored,” 25-year-old Adi told The Brunei Times.
“I got in front of the goalkeeper (and) I don’t know what happened with that goal because Fakharazzi (midfielder Ak Mohd Fakharazzi Pg Hassan) crossed the ball into the keeper,” he added, the victory handing Singaporean Mike Wong Mung Heng a winning debut as the national team’s coach.
The ball got to Ak Mohd Fakharazzi on the right before he put in a high cross which was misjudged by Chinese-Taipei custodian Chiu Yu-Hung and headed home by Adi (2nd photo).
The result is also the national team’s first victory in over two years, their last coming in October 2012 when they beat Timor Leste 2-1 during qualifiers for that year’s ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup.
The Sultanate started the match with seven DPMM FC players - Adi and Ak Mohd Fakharazzi among them - but it was mostly Chinese-Taipei in the early going.
The hosts almost broke the lead in the 33rd minute after Li Mao rounded Wardun Yussof, but his shot was cleared by Mohd Hanif Hamir.
The deadlock was broken three minutes later off a Brunei throw in, with Ak Mohd Fakharazzi putting in a cross which Adi lapped up.
Chinese Taipei had a good chance just before the half-time whistle with a free-kick from 25 yards out, though Wen Chih-Hao only floated it over the crossbar.
The hosts were pushing forward but never really threatened, and it was only in the 76th minute that Wardun was required to save a shot from outside the box.
The Brunei shotstopper came to the rescue of the Wasps again five minutes later when Chinese Taipei skipper Chen Po Liang tried a shot from range which took a deflection before dropping in front of goal.
Substitute Wu Chun Ching pounced on the ball but Wardun produced a spectacular save.
Brunei almost killed off the game in the 84th minute after good pressure by substitute forward Abd Azizi Ali Rahman, who came on for younger brother Azwan eight minutes earlier.
Abd Azizi dispossessed Chen Ting-Yang inside the box but the latter managed to recover to block the shot.
The Wasps soaked up the pressure and Chinese Taipei should have equallised in injury time.
Chen put Wen through on goal inside the box, but Abdul Mu’iz Sisa cleared the ball off the line.
The second leg will be contested on Tuesday at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas and entrance will be free.
The result of the final of the six first round qualifiers last night, Yemen’s tie against hosts Pakistan, was not available as of press time.

The Brunei Times

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