12 December 2011

Silver for nat'l U-21 football team

Yee Chun Leong

Sunday, December 11, 2011

THE national Under-21 football team (pic) finished their campaign on a high at the 4th Borneo Games at Samarinda, East Kalimantan, in Indonesia.

Brunei defeated South Kalimantan 2-1 yesterday, but it was not enough for them to win the gold as results didn't go their way in the other match.

Hosts East Kalimantan hammered Sarawak 5-0 at the Utama Palaran Stadium to win the title after winning all three games in the round-robin competition resulting in Brunei bagging silver.

The Brunei-South Kalimantan match started slowly at the Madya Sempaja Stadium with both teams failing to find any tempo.

Brunei grabbed the lead just before half-time when striker Adi Said received a through ball and got behind the South Kalimantan defence to score.

The lead didn't last long.

South Kalimantan scored the equaliser early in the second half, but just as it looked a draw was on the cards Brunei struck again to break their rivals' hearts.

Just minutes before the final whistle Md Nur Ikhwan Othman who also scored in the Sultanate's opening game against Sarawak fired the winner for Brunei from outside the box.

Brunei's assistant coach Hj Md Rosanan Abdullah Samak was happy to win silver, but admitted that he was hoping for a gold.

"The team will compete in the HBT (Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy in February) and this is their first outing. It was a good performance, but I was hoping for more," said Hj Md Rosanan during an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.

"Now we will adjust and improve further for the HBT ... especially at the defensive end. It is not a problem, but the team required more exposure at the international stage," he added.

"The players are good, but most of them didn't have international exposure until now. But, the Borneo Games is a good start and a worthy experience for the team," he concluded.

The Borneo Games is a warm-up for the national team who are also preparing for the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy on Feb 25.

Winning a silver is a good result considering that the country was suspended from international football from September 2009 to May 2011 and had not played any international matches for the past two years. The Brunei Times

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