10 October 2012

Long wait for win over

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Sultanate put up impressive show in 3-2 victory over Cambodia

THE national football team's long wait for a win is finally over.

Brunei put up a dominating second half performance for their first international victory in four years with a 3-2 victory over Cambodia during yesterday's ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup qualifiers at the Youth Training Centre in Yangon yesterday.

Their last win was in the 2008 edition of the qualifiers when they recorded a 4-1 triumph over Timor Leste in Cambodia, and though the signs were pointing to another defeat, three goals in the span of 18 second half minutes by Md Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir, Muhd Helmi Zambin and Azwan Muhd Salleh secured a valuable comeback for the Sultanate.

The win gave the team their first points in Myanmar and also improved their chances of booking one of the two tickets for the tournament proper to be held from November 24 December 22, with must win games against Laos tomorrow and Timor Leste on Saturday. The loss spelt the end of the road for Cambodia, who have lost all three of their games. There was little to suggest a Brunei win in the opening minutes of the game though, with the team struggling to match the same kind of intensity they showed during their 1-0 loss to Myanmar on Friday.

The game came to life after a defensive lapse by Brunei in the 30th minute when Prak Mony Udom opened the scoring after receiving a ball inside the box and slotting home past Brunei goalkeeper Wardun Yussof.

It gave the Cambodians plenty of confidence as they continued to press for a second goal, and just four minutes later, stand in captain Keo Sokngon almost doubled the Cambodia lead but saw his volley sail just over the crossbar.

Shahrazen Said had the best chance to level for the Wasps before the break in the 36th minute.

The DPMM FC hitman rose the highest to connect on a Sairol Hj Sahari freekick but saw his effort pushed aside by Cambodia shotstopper Um Vichet.

The Sultanate came out strongly after the break and Shahrazen once again came close to equalising two minutes in when captain Rosmin Hj Mohd Kamis delivered a corner but the striker's header bounced off the ground and went just over the crossbar.

There was a good chance for Cambodia in the 52nd minute on a counterattack when Phourng Sokasana received a throughball from Sokngon down the middle, only to be denied by Wardun.

Shahrazen came close once again three minutes later with a strike but saw his shot saved by Vichet. Piling on the pressure, Brunei finally equalised through Md Aminuddin after he connected on a cross from Sairol moments later.

Cambodia looked like they had regained the lead on the hour mark after Soksana found the back of the net following a goalmouth scramble only to see his efforts disallowed for offside.

Azwan had a good opportunity to put Brunei ahead in the 62nd minute but his shot was saved by the Cambodia keeper.

Vichet was not so lucky with the ensuing corner though, as he could only box the ball out to Muhd Helmi who would score from close range to give the Sultanate the advantage.

Cambodia looked tired from having to play three games in six days and they let in a third goal in the 73rd minute after a cross by Md Najib Hj Tarif was not cleared properly, with Azwan quickly pouncing on the ball and firing home for a 3-1 lead.

The Wasps continued to create but it was Cambodia who would get on the scoresheet with Khim Borey heading home a corner in stoppage time.

Timor Leste picked up their second win of the competition with a 3-1 victory over Laos in the games second match.

The tournament continues tomorrow with Brunei going up against Laos at 3pm (4.30pm Brunei time).

The second game pits Myanmar against Cambodia at 6pm.

The Brunei Times

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