13 July 2014

Brunei in Group B

Sunday, July 13, 2014
BRUNEI have chosen to be in Group B at next month’s 5th Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy for ASEAN Youth Football Championship.
The Sultanate, as the hosts of the competition, were given the option of choosing which group to be drawn in and the defending champions chose to be grouped alongside Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.
Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Timor Leste and two-time champions Thailand will be pooled in Group A.
Last year’s finalist, Indonesia, are the only ASEAN country missing at the August 8-23 regional Under-21 tournament.
Present as the guest of honour during the draw ceremony at the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam House in Berakas yesterday was National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) President His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah and his son YAM Pg Muda ‘Abdul ‘Aleem.
HRH believed that Brunei will have a good chance at doing well at the biennial competition.
“I hope Brunei can do well as we have chances to win. I feel that we are in the easier group and the toughest team should be Vietnam,” said HRH.
“It depends on the players as they have to work hard and be committed.
“There are no excuses such as fasting in Ramadhan. The important thing is the mental side when they are ready to play. There is no choice,” added the NFABD President.
Also present at the ceremony was the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah.
The tournament will kick-off with two Group A matches on August 8.
Philippines will play Laos at the Berakas Sports Complex while the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex will see Myanmar go up against Thailand.
Both matches will start at 8.15pm.
Brunei will kick-off their campaign against Cambodia at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on August 9 before playing Singapore four days later on August 13.
They will face their biggest test in the group when they play Vietnam on August 16 before ending their group stage matches against Malaysia two days later.
Brunei beat Indonesia 2-0 to win the last edition of the tournament in 2012.
The HBT is the brainchild of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, who desired that an Under-21 football tournament be organised with the aim of improving friendship and understanding between Southeast Asian youth through sports.
The tournament aims at attracting the best football teams in Southeast Asia, and at the same time, to expose ASEAN to the world in sports.
Only three countries: Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei, have won the tournament since its introduction in 2002.
Thailand, who sat out of the competition two years ago, won the tournament back in 2007 after beating Myanmar 5-4 on penalties.
Thailand beat Myanmar to win the 2005 edition while Indonesia won the inaugural competition in 2002.

The Brunei Times

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