Brunei return from AFF Under-18 Championship
Friday, September 15, 2017
THE national Under-18 team returned to Brunei early today morning after their completing their ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Under-18 Championship campaign in Yangon, Myanmar.
The team started their Group B play with a 3-2 win over the Philippines on September 5 and lost their second game 8-1 to Vietnam on September 7. They then fell 7-0 to hosts Myanmar on September 9 and 8-0 to Indonesia on Wednesday.
Competing in a tournament in France in May, Indonesia limited Brazil to only a 1-0 win – showing just how strong the team is.
Present at the Brunei International Airport to welcome the team back were National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) Acting General Secretary Pg Md Amirrizal Pg Hj Mahmud, NFABD Technical Director Yvon Avry and other NFABD officials.
Speaking to the players and officials before they left to their respective homes, Pg Md Amirrizal advised them not to let the results affect their mentality.
“Though the results may not have gone our way, think of this (tournament) as a challenge and not a barrier,” said Pg Md Amirrizal.
“Don’t let this affect your confidence and don’t let negative comments bring you down. Use this as a lesson to become better players.
“Finally, NFABD would like to thank the team for their effort and sacrifice made throughout training and during the tournament,” he added.
As expected, Group B was a tough fight and the top three teams – Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam – all finished with nine points.
Ultimately, the semi-finalists were decided on the head-to-head record between Myanmar and Vietnam – with both teams finishing with the same goals scored and allowed, but Myanmar beating Vietnam 2-1 when they met on Wednesday.
Indonesia meet Group A runners-up Thailand in today’s first semi-final at 4.30pm (Brunei time) while Myanmar take on Group A winners Malaysia in the second semi-final at 7.30 pm (Brunei time).
National Under-18 coach Takao Fujiwara echoed Pg Md Amirrizal’s comments about not letting the results affect the team’s confidence, saying that he will work on improving the team’s fighting spirit before their next international outing – the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-19 Championship qualifiers in South Korea which run from October 31 to November 8.
“We need more fighting spirit, endurance and high-intensity games,” said Fujiwara when asked how the team can improve.
“We may not be able to replicate such high-intensity games in Brunei, so we need to work harder during training.”
“We cannot think about the negative. We have to focus on the good situations – like the win against the Philippines, the first half against Vietnam and the second half against Indonesia,” he said.
The team let in three goals against Vietnam after the first half, and after a 6-0 deficit at the break against Indonesia, Brunei held their opponents to two goals in the second half.
“If we can combine these good situations, we can get good results,” said Fujiwara.