Brunei end AFC Under-19 Championship Qualifiers on a positive
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
THE national Under-18 football team picked up their first point of the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-19 Championship qualifiers in South Korea after a 2-2 draw with Timor Leste today.
Timor Leste’s Danilson Conceicao Araujo opened the scoring in the 13th minute and Brunei’s Hariz Herman equalised in the 34th minute.
Mohammad Hanif Aiman Hj Adanan gave Brunei the lead in the 55th minute but Araujo made it 2-2 with a penalty two minutes later.
Brunei started their tournament with a 5-0 loss to Indonesia and followed that with a 11-0 loss to hosts South Korea and a 1-0 loss to Malaysia.
“It was a difficult game today, but the players have fighting spirit - and they fight for their country,” said national Under-18 coach Takao Fujiwara.
“It may only be one point, but it is not something small for us.
“All the players fought until the end, so I am very proud of all the players and officials,” he added.
The team will return to Brunei at 2.15pm on Friday.
A total of 45 countries divided into 10 groups are competing in the qualifiers held across Asia.
The group winners and five best second-placed teams will advance to next year’s edition of the biennial tournament along with hosts country Indonesia.
The semi-finalists at next year’s AFC Under-19 Championship will qualify for the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup as Asia’s representatives.
Japan are the reigning AFC Under-19 Championship titleholders, beating Saudi Arabia 5-3 on penalties in Bahrain last year.
Photos courtesy of AFC.