15 October 2014

Tough loss for Brunei

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

THE national football team’s hopes of qualifying for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup took a huge dent after losing 4-2 to hosts Laos yesterday.
It was the second straight defeat for the Sultanate after losing by the same scoreline to Timor Leste in their opener on Sunday, and Brunei are now at the bottom of the five-team table without a point to their name.
With a game against favourites Myanmar tomorrow, anything but a win will surely send them packing.
Soukaphone Vongchiengkham bagged a hat-trick while Khampheng Sayavutthi was the other Laotian name on the scoresheet at the National Sports Complex in Vientiane yesterday, where Ak Md Fakhrazzi Pg Hassan and Shahrazen Said found the back of the net for the Wasps.
The Sultanate made two changes to their opening game by giving defender Reduan Hj Petara the start in place of Abdul Aziz Tamit and starting Azman Ilham Hj Md Noor in between the sticks instead of Wardun Yussof.
Brunei got off to a disastrous start after an error by centreback Shahrulrizal Hj Abdul Rahman gifted the ball to Khampheng.
The latter fired from just inside the box but Azman Ilham did well for a save only for Soukaphone to score on the rebound for an early third minute lead.
The advantage was doubled three minutes later after Soukaphone created space to blast his attempt from just inside the box into the top left corner.
Laos got another chance in the 17th minute but Phoutdavy Phommasane watched his shot from 35 yards out end at the wrong side of the right post.
The Wasps picked up their game after that and kept plenty of ball possession.
Shahrulrizal almost made amends for his mistake but his header off a Md Najib Hj Tarif corner in the 26th minute bounced wide off the target.
Brunei got back in the game in the 33rd minute after Ak Md Fakharazzi received the ball off a throw in on the right.
The midfielder was left open to curl the ball, which looked like a cross, past the outstretched arm of Laos goalkeeper Soukthavy Soundala for his second goal in as many games.
Ak Md Fakhrazzi almost levelled the score two minutes later after Adi Said put him through on goal, but Soukthavy did well to keep the ball out at the near post.
Laos threatened again in the 42nd minute after a good one-two between Soukaphone and Khonesavanh Sihavong put the former through on goal.
However, Soukaphone couldn’t put enough power on his shot, allowing Azman to easily collect the ball.
It didn’t take long for Laos to get on the scoresheet again as they found the back of the net three minutes after the interval.
Khampheng got the better of his defender on the left and rounded an onrushing Azman Ilham to put the ball into an empty net to make it 3-1.
Hendra Azam Md Idris almost cut the deficit in the 62nd minute but saw his attempt cleared off the line.
Immediately at the other end, Azman had to deny Soukaphone from inside the box.
Laos continued to attack the Brunei goal and it paid off in the 70th minute.
Khonesavanh did most of the work on the left side and got into the box before the ball fell for substitute Tiny BounMalay.
The latter didn’t shoot, and instead, laid it off for Soukaphone to slot it down the middle for his hat-trick.
Brunei made a triple change by sending on Abdul Aziz, Nur Ikhwan Othman and Hj Md Subhi Abdilah Hj Bakir the next minute looking to salvage something out of the match.
Laos continued to dominate the game and launched waves of attacks in front of the Brunei sticks.
Shahrazen got his name on the scoresheet in the final minute of regulation after heading home Azwan Salleh’s freekick, but it proved to be a mere consolation.
Myanmar and Timor Leste played out a 0-0 draw in yesterday’s other game.

The Brunei Times

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