19 March 2015

World Cup dreams over

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A DEFENSIVE-MINDED Brunei were sent packing from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers after falling 2-0 to Chinese Taipei in the second leg of their first round qualifiers last night.
Goals in either half by Wang Ruei and Turkish-born Chu En-Le sealed the deal for the visitors at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, the 2-1 loss on aggregate also meaning Brunei’s 2019 Asian Cup qualifying campaign has also come to an end.
The Wasps started with six defenders listed but did well to attack early on.
Their first opportunity came after skipper Azwan Salleh put in a long ball for Adi Said – who scored in the first leg in Chinese Taipei last week – to chase down, only for Chinese Taipei goalkeeper Lu Kun-Chi to come out of his box to clear. The ball got as far as Adi’s brother Shahrazen, but he couldn’t get his shot on target.
Chinese Taipei got forward in the 18th minute but captain Chen Po-Liang couldn’t get enough power on his header.
Azwan had an attempt from 25 yards out after winning the ball at midfield two minutes later but was unable to keep his shot down.
Brunei were forced to make a change the next minute after Ak Fakharazzi Pg Hassan – the host’s best player after producing several crosses down the right – picked up a back injury, making way for Abd Azizi Ali Rahman.
The visitors missed a chance in the 24th minute after Wang got a free header at the far post but failed to get it on target.
They came knocking again in the 27th minute, but Wardun denied Wen Chih-Hao from inside the box.
Brunei got on target for the first time in the 32nd minute with Adi taking a free-kick from 30 yards out which went straight to Lu.
The Wasps were made to sit back in their own half and Wardun had to push a tricky cross from the right over the bar a minute later.
Chinese Taipei had a good opportunity the next minute after Chu put Wang through inside the box, but Wardun did well to close out the shot.
The visitors deservedly broke the deadlock in the 37th minute after a corner to the near post was flicked on to Wang to fire it home for a 1-0 lead, with Po-Liang nearly doubling the lead by shooting just wide in the 44th minute.
Chinese Taipei carried their good momentum into the second half and threatened just four minutes in after Chu drifted to his right at the edge of the box and drove a shot just over the bar.
The visitors made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute after Chen Hao-Wei broke down the right and skipped past two Brunei defenders before sending in a cross into the box for Chu to head home.
Brunei almost responded immediately at the other end but Lu produced a fine save.
The visitors could have added to their advantage in the 63rd minute with Hao-Wei finding Chu again just inside the box, but the latter couldn’t fire past Wardun.
The rebound got back to Hao-Wei but was not able to put it on target.
Substitute Anaqi Sufi Omar Baqi tried a freekick from 25 yards but it went straight to Lu two minutes later.
The Wasps were desperate in search for goals but were exposed at the back each time they pushed forward, resulting in Wardun being kept busy.
Adi put Abdul Mu’iz Sisa through on goal in the 83rd minute but the latter miskicked it with his left foot.
The hosts looked like they would get on the scoresheet just before the final whistle, but Reduan Petara was denied by Lu at the near post.
Brunei were the only one of the five first leg winners not to go through to the second round.
Bhutan, the world's lowest-ranked football team at 209th, pulled off a major shock to reach the second round after stunning Sri Lanka 2-1 yesterday and 3-1 on aggregate, according to a Reuters report.
Timor Leste beat Mongolia 1-0 yesterday after a 4-1 win at home last week, and India also progress after a 0-0 stalemate with Nepal in Kathmandu following last week's 2-0 victory in the east Indian city of Guwahati.
French-born Thierry Bin scored for Cambodia in a 1-1 away draw with Macau, which was enough to seal a 4-1 win on aggregate.
The sixth tie between Pakistan and Yemen was postponed due to security reasons and will be switched to a neutral venue.
Yemen were already in Lahore for yesterday’s match and held a 3-1 lead over Pakistan in the first leg played in Doha due to security concerns in Yemen.
The Brunei Times

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