06 June 2015

Tough Thai test for Brunei

Saturday, June 6, 2015

TABUAN Muda (the national Under-23 football team) face their toughest test yet at the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games when they take on titleholders Thailand in Group B at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore today.
The Sultanate are still in search of their first points and are ready out of contention after coming off three consecutive losses to Vietnam (6-0 last Friday), Laos (2-1 last Sunday) and Timor Leste (2-1 on Wednesday).
A draw against Brunei will be enough for Thailand to confirm their berth in the semi-finals of the competition.
Thailand have won three straight games in the tournament against Laos, Timor Leste and Malaysia – and are looking like every bit the defending champions they are.
The Thais started off with an emphatic 6-0 win over Laos last Friday and followed that up with 1-0 victories against Timor Leste (Monday) and Malaysia (Thursday).
National Under-23 football coach Stephen Ng knows the uphill battle they face but remains positive.
“As practised, we will need a lot of team work and strong commitment from all players taking to the field against Thailand tomorrow (Saturday),” said Ng in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
“Individually, the Thai players are technically and tactically superior compared to our players. We will work hard to keep the play tight and compact in defence.
“We are still very focused on putting up good performances in the last two games and working hard to pick up points at this SEA Games,” continued Ng.
When asked on how the players are handling having to play a tight schedule, the Singaporean replied: “It’s a bit tough for our players, especially as most of them do not play regularly at this intensity.
“We are working hard to help them recover between games,” added Ng, a former Singapore national goalkeeper.
All players are available for selection for Brunei including Mohd Syazni Asnawi Abd Aziz, who won a penalty for the Sultanate against Timor Leste in the second half on Wednesday but was stretchered off after the challenge from shotstopper Ramos Saozinho Ribeiro Maxanches
Over at the Jalan Besar Stadium, Indonesia will face off against Cambodia in Group A.
Kick off is at 8.30pm.

The Brunei Times

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