19 August 2014

Battling Brunei crash out

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
BRUNEI’S 2-1 win over Malaysia was ultimately insufficient as they bowed out of the 5th Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy last night.
The defending champions needed a win with a two goal margin to qualify, and the 2-1 victory only secured third place for Brunei, on 10 points together with Vietnam and Malaysia, but behind on goal difference.

Mohd Nor Azam Azih gave Malaysia the lead early in the 18th minutes at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
Centre-back Mohd Reduan Hj Petara equalised in the first-half before Najib Hj Tarif converted a penalty in the second-half to clinch a bittersweet victory for the defending champions.
Brunei lined-up with midfielder Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris back in the team, partnering Mohd Nurikhwan Othman and Ak Mohd Yura Indera Putera Pg Yunos in midfield.
Both wingers Mohd Asnawi Syazni Abdul Aziz and Mohd Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir assisted lone striker Adi Said up front in attack.
Abdul Khair Hj Basri made his first appearance in the tournament playing in Mohd Nur Azees Ali’s place who got red carded in a game against Vietnam on Friday.
Both teams started slowly, with most of the ball being played in midfield.
Malaysia's Mohd Asri Mardzuki tested Brunei with a shot from 30 metres out, while Mohd Hendra Azam's sent a free-kick from the left that went straight into Malaysia goalkeeper’s arms.
The two shots were the only actions worth mentioning in the first 15 minutes of the game.
Malaysia finally broke the deadlock in the 18th minute when Mohd Nor Azam fired from outside the penalty box, beating goalkeeper Abdul Hafiz Abdul Rahim.
Brunei equalised just seven minutes later when Mohd Syawal Nordin fouled Aminuddin outside the penalty area to give Brunei a free-kick.
Malaysia’s goalkeeper Md Ilham Amirullah Razali got a touch on Adi’s free-kick before the ball bounced off the post in front of centre back Reduan Hj Petara, who was at the right place at the right time to tap the ball home.
Brunei should have been leading a few minutes later when Ak Mohd Yura Indera Putera made a run into the penalty box.
The Bruneian threaded in a through ball meant for Adi but Mohd Syawal made a vital interception to keep the score level at 1-1.
Mohd Hendra Azam should also have scored when he was set by Mohd Nurikhwan from the right just five minutes after the restart but the former would send his low shot a few inches wide off the post.
Adi was stretchered out injured in the 63rd minute following a tackle by Malaysian defender and the striker was replaced by Abdul Azim Abdul Rashid.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Abdul Hafiz Rahim made way for Azman Ilham Hj Mohd Noor just seconds later.
Mohd Najib made his second appearance of the tournament, replacing Mohd Hendra Azam in the 70th minute.
Brunei continued to dominate the game as they are pressing for the two-goal winning margin, and Reduan almost found the net after connecting with a cross from Mohd Asnawi Syazni in the 75th minute but goalkeeper Md Ilham Amirullah would make a brilliant save keeping the ball out.
Brunei eventually found the net in the 82nd minute when Mohd Najib converted the penalty sending goalkeeper Md Ilham Amirullah the wrong way.
Brunei at this point was launching wave after wave of attacks, with Mohd Najib and Mohd Asnawi Syazni making dangerous runs into the penalty area in the final few minutes.
The Malaysians defended bravely by making timely clearances and tackles to stop the attacks, and at the final whistle, Brunei was left to rue what could have been if they had taken one of the many chances presented to them.

The Brunei Times

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