BRUNEI’S manager Ah Chua Bangau praised the national Under-22 team’s depth after their slim 1-0 loss to Singapore in their last 2017 SEA Games match on Wednesday.
The defeat meant Brunei finished bottom of the five-team Group A table without a point to their name, but Ah Chua said there were some positives to take from the match at the Selayang Municipal Stadium in Selangor.
“We started with all of our substitutes and two of our first-11, and the players who were given the trust to play tried their best - although there were some nerves,” he said.
“I am proud of the players because they were able to carry out the tasks handed to them by the coach (Kwon Oh-son).
“Overall the team competed well and were able to prevent Singapore from scoring in the first half.
“Singapore launched many attacks but they were saved by our goalkeeper Muhammad Ishyra Asmin Mohd Jabidi, who was named Man of the Match.
“We were also able to create a few chances but they were not converted,” he added.
Brunei held Singapore at bay until the 75th minute, when a cross into the box hit Brunei’s Khalid Wassadisalleh Hj Mahmud’s thigh and bounced past Muhammad Ishyra.
Filling in for Haimie Anak Nyaring, Muhammad Ishyra was a solid presence in the Brunei goal and produced key saves late in the first half and early in the second half to deny Singapore’s attacks.
Though Singapore mounted many attacks in the second half, Brunei’s organised defence prevented Singapore from scoring and were unlucky to concede the own goal.
Tomorrow’s semi-finals will see Malaysia take on Indonesia and Thailand face Myanmar.
The final is set for Tuesday.