29 May 2015

Brunei looking to erase bad memories

Friday, May 29, 2015

TABUAN Muda (the national Under-23 football team) are looking to erase their bad memories of Vietnam when they face each other in today’s Group B opener at the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games today.
Brunei were hammered 7-0 by Vietnam in the last edition of biennial Games in Myanamr in 2013 and 8-0 at the 2011 edition in Indonesia – letting in four goals in the first 15 minutes in Jakarta.
Midfielder Azwan Ali Rahman (pic) is one of the returning players from two years ago, and he knows that defence will be key for them in their game at the Bishan Stadium.
“Vietnam are one of the strongest teams in the region,” said the DPMM FC midfielder in an interview with The Brunei Times after a training session here at the Bukit Gombak Stadium yesterday.
“We need to sit very tight and look for counter attacks and set pieces.
“If from open play, we might lose many goals. We know our strengths and the quality of the Vietnamese players. Overall we just need to sit very tight,” he stressed.
“We know Vietnam are a strong attacking team. We will just try our best and give a good fight. We will put in more effort for our country,” he promised.
Right-back Azri Zahari is in a confident mood and hopes he will able to do his part for his team.
“We want to do better (than two years ago) for tomorrow’s (Friday’s) game. We have to stay focused throughout,” said Azri.
“It would be good if we can get a draw but we want to win.
We know that Vietnam are very fast, so we will need our defence to be organised,” he added.
Forward Mohd Shafie Mohd Effendy, meanwhile, hopes they will be able to avenge the losses from Myanmar and Indonesia.
“We are looking for goals and hopefully we can exact revenge on them. The team is in a confident mood right now,” said Mohd Shafie.
Tabuan Muda head coach Stephen Ng Heng Seng is not looking to dwell on history and is focused on the upcoming encounter.
“Past records show that it wasn’t good in the past two editions,” admitted Ng, “but we are looking forward to the game.”
“I think the boys look confident the last session we put out there, and I’m looking forward to them carrying this confidence into the game,” he added.
When asked if defence will be key to the encounter, Ng replied: “Definitely, but there are two sides to the game.
“We have studied the major concerns and weaknesses we have to work on, and we do bring with us some good attacking play,” he added.
“We are more focused on the level of performance on the field. I believe with good performance the result will come,” concluded the Singaporean.
Kick off will be at 4pm.
The second game pits defending champions Thailand against Laos at 8.30pm at the same venue.
Brunei are set to face Laos in their second game on Sunday.
Ng’s men will take Timor Leste on June 3 and titleholders Thailand on June 6.
They will close their group stage play with a match against Malaysia on June 8.

The Brunei Times

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