BRUNEI Darussalam National Under-21 Team began their campaign in Group ‘A’ of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy for Asean Youth Football Tournament 2018 with a 1-0 defeat to Timor Leste at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.
Timor Leste midfielder Jose Maria Dos Reis’s penalty in the 20th minute separated the two sides.
The visitors were awarded a penalty after Ammar Syafie Hassanuddin was adjudged to have fouled captain Jorge Sabas Victor in the box and to make matters worse received a yellow card for his troubles.
Jose Maria stepped up and tucked away the ensuing penalty, sending Brunei goalkeeper Ishyra Asmin Jabidi the wrong way.
Faiq Jefri Bolkiah, whom just linked up with the squad last week, created the best opportunity for Brunei after volleying the ball into goal which was deflected by a Timorese defender.
The hosts were agonisingly close to pulling level after an unmarked Faiq powered a header from a corner but was cleared off the line with goalkeeper Fagio Augusto Da Silva beaten.
Timor Leste forward Henrique hits the side-netting after the ball fell to him much to the relief of the Bruneian rearguard.
With Brunei unable to find an opening, they lost possession enabling Rufino Walter Gama to burst clear and after his initial chance was lost he nearly got a second bite of the cherry only for his shot to be cleared away.
Brunei made a decent chance after Hanif Aiman Adanan sets up the ball for Naziruddin Haji Ismail whose attempt was deflected for a corner.
Brunei midfielder Azim Izamuddin Suhaimi then tried a shot from distance after a corner was played short but his shot was easily saved by Da Silva.
Timor Leste forward Walter Gama, who proved a livewire, then surged forward and fired a shot and fortunately it was dealt with by the Brunei defence away for a corner.
Timor Leste defender Nidio Ricardo Ferreira Alves was also provided an opportunity but his shot was blocked away for a corner.
The hosts tried to apply pressure in the closing stages of the game but Timor Leste held on for the victory.