Brunei off to winning start
Sunday, October 16, 2016


 DPMM FC’s Adi Said scored for Brunei in their AFF (ASEAN Football Federation) Suzuki Cup 2016 qualifier against Timor Leste yesterday at the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Picture: BT file


THE national football team started the AFF (ASEAN Football Federation) Suzuki Cup 2016 qualifiers in Cambodia with a 2-1 win over Timor Leste yesterday.

Rufino Walter Gama gave Timor Leste an early lead before goals by Adi Said and Mohammad Shafie Hj Mohd Effendy in a span of six minutes saw the Wasps bag all three points at the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh.

“It was a very tough game, and if you had asked me before the match if we would win this one, I would not have been too sure what to expect,” said interim national coach Mike Wong Mun Heng as quoted on the AFF website.

“We know that we can be competitive throughout the three games, and this afternoon we came back later in the game to win the three points,” he added.

Skipper Rosmin Hj Md Kamis and Azwan Salleh were deemed not fit to start and Faiq Jefri Bolkiah, who got his first cap for the sultanate, took up the role of skipper while forward Shahrazen Said was deployed in central midfield.

Timor Leste got off to a better start and took the lead in the 11th minute after a misjudgment by Brunei.

A long ball from midfield looked to be headed out of play but Timor Leste captain Jose Carlos Da Fonseca pounced on it before playing it across goal from the left for Gama to tap home.

Brunei equalised against the run of play with Adi heading past Timor Leste goalkeeper Ramos Saozinho Ribeiro Maxanches at the far post off a Maududi Hilmi Kasmi cross from the right in the 22nd minute.

The momentum shifted in favour of Brunei and they went in front six minutes later after good work by Shahrazen to dispossess Frangcyatma Alves Ima Kefi before launching the ball forward to Mohammad Shafie.

He then skipped past Domingos Ramos Freitas inside the box before beating Maxanches at the near post for the lead.

The Wasps got a shot on target again late in the opening half but Shahrazen’s shot from outside the box went straight to the Timor Leste custodian.

Brunei were forced to make a change just before the stroke of half time with left-back Najib Hj Tarif picking up an injury and made way for Hj Mohammad Yusof Hj Matyassin.

Timor Leste saw plenty of the ball but couldn’t seem to create much in the final third.

Brunei got an opportunity to extend their lead just before the hour mark but Shahrazen’s header off a 40-yard free-kick was not enough to trouble Maxanches.

Rosmin was initially sent on to control the midfield but was changed to play in the right-back position after Ak Fakharazzi Pg Hj Hassan picked up an injury in the 65th minute.

Timor Leste found the back of the net off a set-piece in the 75th minute but it was disallowed for offside.

Brunei sat deep in their half inviting pressure and were almost made to pay the price in stoppage time.

Timor Leste had two chances as Henrique Wilson Da Cruz Martins struck a shot from eight yards out but somehow blasted it over before another chance went begging when Filipe Oliveira’s effort from close range was denied by the woodwork.

Timor Leste coach Fabio Maciel felt that they only had themselves to blame for the loss.

“Today (Saturday) we didn’t lost to Brunei but rather we lost this game to ourselves,” said Maciel.

“We were not playing the way we should be playing and this is something which we need to work on for the next game,” he added.

Brunei will next play hosts Cambodia on Tuesday at 7.30pm before ending their campaign against Laos on Friday.

The winner of the four-team competition will compete with Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam in Group B of the tournament proper. The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia make up Group A.


Source: The Brunei Times


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