04 June 2015

Brunei go down fighting

Thursday, June 4, 2015

TABUAN Muda (the national Under-23 football team) became the first side to get knocked out of the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games football competition after going down 2-1 to Timor Leste last night.
It was the team’s third loss in as many games while for Timor Leste, the three points were their first of the tournament and puts them third in the six-team Group B.
Jairo Pinheiro Palmeiro Neto gave Timor Leste the lead in the first half at the Bishan Stadium and YAM Pg Muda Faiq HRH Prince Jefri Bolkiah equalised for Brunei from the spot midway through the second half before Paulo Heiber Rosa Ribeiro scored the winner minutes later.
Among those watching the game was His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC) and President of the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD).
Also present were His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Raabi’atul ‘Adawiyyah Pengiran Haji Bolkiah.
Despite the loss, Tabuan Muda coach Stephen Ng was happy with his players’ gutsy performance.
“Firstly, I pay tribute to my players as they went out and fought tonight (Wednesday night). None of them held back and I think there were some good performances on a whole,” said Ng at the post-match press conference.
“Unfortunately, the part of our game that is not strong enough is our finishing. We created three chances in the opening 20 minutes but they were saved by the goalkeeper (Ramos Saozinho Ribeiro Maxcanches).
“I’m satisfied with performance but the result was just not there,” summed up the Singaporean.
YAM Pg Muda Faiq had a chance in the ninth minute but Maxcanches was up to the task.
Nataniel de Jesus Reis placed a shot on target off a corner in the 23rd minute but Brunei custodian Mohd Ahsanuddin Hj Mohd Dani dived down for the save.
Timor Leste broke the deadlock the next minute after Palmeira Neto was put through on goal and he made no mistake to slot it in between Mohd Ahsanuddin’s legs.
They could have doubled their advantage in the 31st minute after Palmeira Neto got a free header off a corner but Mohd Ahsanuddin got a hand to it. Filipe Oliveira tested Mohd Ahsanuddin from 30 yards out two minutes later but he was alert to catch his attempt.
Brunei were stringing some good passes going forward but couldn’t really threaten in front of goal. Timor Leste got another opportunity in the 43rd minute from another set piece, but skipper Anggisu Correia de Almeida Barbosa poked the ball wide off a corner.
YAM Pg Muda Faiq was on target again in the 53rd minute after he tried to curl one in from outside the box but Maxanches denied him. At the other end, Rosa Ribeiro and Palmeiro Nato played a good one-two in the box two minutes later but the former puts his attempt wide.
Tabuan Muda were awarded a penalty in the 66th minute after Mohd Asnawi Syazni Abd Aziz was brought down in the box by Maxanches – with the former having to be stretched off and replaced.
YAM Pg Muda Faiq stepped up and made no mistake to slot it past the Timor Leste goalkeeper, going on to kiss the national flag on his jersey.
Timor Leste came close to regaining the lead in the 72nd minute with De Almeida Barbosa firing a 25-yard free-kick at goal only to be punched out by Mohd Ahsanuddin.
They got back in front three minutes later after Rosa Ribeiro was given space inside the box to strike a shot down the middle.
The Sultanate saw plenty of the ball and tried to get up the field but were unable to really test Maxanches in between the sticks.
They had one final effort in injury time to salvage a point from the game, but Azwan Ali Rahman’s shot from inside the box was saved by Maxanches.
Brunei next face defending champions Thailand on Saturday at 8.30pm.

The Brunei Times

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