13 October 2012

Wasps pay dear penalties

Friday, October 12, 2012
TWO second half penalties spelt the end of Brunei's chances of qualifying for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup yesterday.

The national football team fell 3-1 to Laos in the AFF Suzuki Cup qualifiers at the Youth Training Centre in Yangon, the result putting them fourth in the five-team table with three points from as many games.

It is still mathematically possible for the Wasps to advance to next month's tournament proper though, but they have to beat Timor Leste by four goals in their final match tomorrow and hope that Myanmar defeat Laos.

The hosts look certain to clinch one of the two berths on offer with their 3-0 win over Cambodia in yesterday's second game, and will be seeking for a perfect four out of four when they take on Laos in tomorrow's other match.

This however is not set in stone as wins by Timor Leste and Laos would put the three teams on nine points each with goal difference deciding who would qualify for the tournament proper.

Dominating possession, Laos had the first chance of the game in the 10th minute after Ketsada Souksavanh fired a low shot which was saved by Wardun Yussof, the attempt coming after he had a free-kick which failed to clear the wall.

Brunei should have taken the lead three minutes later when Laos goalkeeper Sengphachan Bounthisanh dropped the ball in the box, allowing Muhd Azwan Ali Rahman to feed Md Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir on the right.

Md Aminuddin, though, could only send his attempt wide.

Brunei broke the deadlock in the 26th minute when captain Rosmin Hj Mohd Kamis curled in a long-range free-kick to the top-left corner after Md Najib Hj Tarif had been brought down by Saynakhonevient Phommapanya.

The Wasps almost doubled their lead in the 33rd minute, Shahrazen Said sending in a cross from the right which Md Najib got his head to but saw his effort sail just wide.

Laos equalised a minute later after a slip by Muhd Afi Aminuddin saw Kovanh Namthavixay gather the ball inside the box and chip it past Wardun.

The Sultanate had a good chance to go back in front three minutes before the break when Rosmin's free-kick was met by Adi Said, who saw his backward header hit the crossbar.

Brunei were given a let-off early in the second half when going on a counterattack, Khampheng Sayavutthi outran the Brunei defence and fired at goal from just outside the box only to be denied by the crossbar.

The rebound was met by captain Visay Phaphouvannin, and though he had time to place his shot, his effort from some eight metres out was well off target.

Brunei fell behind on the hour mark when Laos were awarded a penalty after Sairol Hj Sahari brought Visay down in the box, and though Khampheng had to retake the spot kick, he made no mistake either time.

Brunei almost equalised in the 64th minute but Sengphachan put up a good save to prevent Muhd Azwan from scoring, and the Laos shot-stopper was also called to action in the 71st minute when he had to clear his line to deny Shahrazen.

Muhd Azwan found the back of the net a minute later after heading in a cross from the left but was ruled out for offside.

The Sultanate suffered a huge setback eight minutes from time after Laos were awarded a controversial penalty.

Soukaphone Vongchiengkham went down easily after Muhd Afi's challenge but the referee pointed to the spot, and substitute Kanlaya Sysomvang sent Wardun the wrong way to put his team up 3-1.

However, there was more drama before the final whistle as the referee once again pointed to the spot after judging that Sairol had brought down another Laos player though he would later change his mind and award Brunei a free-kick.

The Brunei Times

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