Coach Fujiwara staying grounded
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
National Under-18 coach Takao Fujiwara during the NFABD Grassroots Festival in Partnership with DST at NFABD House’s Artificial Field on May 21.
NATIONAL Under-18 coach Takao Fujiwara is not getting carried away with Brunei’s 3-2 win over the Philippines in their Asean Football Federation (AFF) Under-18 Championship opener in Yangon, Myanmar, on Tuesday.
The win has put Brunei on top of Group B, though second-placed Indonesia are also on three points after their 2-1 win against hosts Myanmar in Tuesday’s other game.
Brunei face Vietnam in their second game today (4.30pm Brunei time), and Fujiwara who coaches the national Under-18 team, doesn’t think that topping the group should give his players any reason to be overconfident heading into the tie.
“We can’t think too much about us topping the group now because this has only been one game,” pointed out the Japanese.
“About the game against Vietnam, I cannot tell you my plan… But against the Philippines, I am proud of the players for winning the game and working hard.
“They played good but were very tired after the game, so recovery is important,” he said, adding that he thought Brunei won the game despite the team’s technical abilities not being of the same standard as the Philippines.
“Not many asked about us during the pre-tournament press conference, so I was kind of disappointed with that,” continued Fujiwara
“So I want this win to demonstrate to Bruneians that if we work hard, we can get something – and I am not just talking about results,” he stressed.
In Tuesday’s other Group B game, Indonesia beat Myanmar 2-1 thanks to a 93rd minute goal from Eggy Maulana – who also scored a 71st minute equaliser to cancel out a 28th minute opener from Myanmar’s Myat Kaung Khant.
Indonesia take on the Philippines in today’s other Group B game.
After today’s game against Vietnam, Brunei will play hosts Myanmar on Saturday and end their group stage play against Indonesia on Wednesday.