26 September 2015

Under-19s set for AFC meet

Thursday, September 24, 2015

THE national Under-19 football team (Tabuan U-19) is set to compete in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-19 Championship qualifiers in Yangon, Myanmar, next week.
Most of the players are comprised from the national Under-19 team and some are from the national Under-15 team that laced up for the country at the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Under-19 Youth Championships and the AFF Under-16 Championships last month.
Talking to The Brunei Times during their training at the Field A of the Menglait Sports Complex on Tuesday, the team’s manager Awang Tamat Hj Budin said that they are ready for the tournament.
“Although the team has just started trained together, they are really playing well,” he said.
“We also had few friendly matches with the national team and a few local clubs, and the Under-19s performed well.
“It will be a really tough competition as we will be competing with teams that possess bigger physique and international experiences than us.
“However, we won’t give up easily and will give our best in tournament,” he promised
Speaking of their opponents in Group G - Hong Kong, Myanmar, Timor-Leste and Vietnam - the manager believed that Vietnam – who were last month’s AFF Under-19 Youth Championships 2015 runners-up in Laos - will be their strongest challenger.
“We are not quite sure about Hong Kong as we have never played them, but Vietnam will be the toughest team as they finished second in the recent AFF U-19 Championships - and we were also beaten 5-0 by them in that tournament,” said Awang Tamat.
The Sultanate will kick-off their campaign with a match against Timor-Leste at the Thuwunna Stadium on Monday and will face hosts Myanmar two days later at the same venue.
They take on Vietnam in their third match on Oct 2 before playing their last match of the qualifying round against Hong Kong four days later.
The winners of the groups and the five best runners-up from all groups will automatically qualify for the tournament proper which set to be held in Bahrain next year.
In the previous qualifying round two years ago in Thailand, the national Under-19 football team finished without a point from three games.
Brunei lost their first match to North Korea 6-0 before getting thrashed by Thailand 7-0. The nation ended the campaign with a 3-1 loss at the hands of Singapore.
The team will leave to Myanmar on Saturday.
Held every year since 1959, Qatar are the regional Under-19 champions after edging North Korea 1-0 in last year’s final played in Myanmar.

The Brunei Times

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