Caption: The national under-20 futsal team pose for a group photo before kick off against Iraq at the AFC U-20 Futsal Championship last night. PIcture: Courtesy of NFABD
Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE national under-20 futsal team slipped to their second straight defeat in as many days at the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Under-20 Futsal Championship in Bangkok after losing 6-1 to Iraq last night.
They had started their group A campaign with a 14-1 loss at the hands of Afghanistan.
It was a much improved performance from Brunei this time around especially in the second half after limiting their opponents to only two goals having trailed 4-0 at the break at the Bangkok Arena.
National futsal coach Qusmaini Noor Hj Rusli was delighed with his charges despite the setback.
“The players played better today (Wednesday) and I hope they can improve their quality of play to a better level tomorrow (against Thailand),” said Qusmaini in a press release from NFABD.
“They tried their best to reduce the mistakes they committed in the first game, and overall, it was a positive change.
“Iraq are among the title favourites. They are a very strong team and have many players playing in the Iranian league,” he added.
“We committed a few mistakes in the first 10 minutes to allow Iraq to score three goals, but in the second half the players showed more confidence and only let in one goal in the first 10 minutes and another with 59 seconds to go,” continued the Malaysian.
Iraq took the lead four minutes into the match after Fahad Methaq Al Azzawi connected on a free-kick from the left.
They doubled their lead through Muheb Aldeen Al Taei in the 13th minute and it was 3-0 a minute later with Gaith Riyadh Arabi getting his name on the scoresheet.
Hasan Kadhim Hilfi dribbled through the middle before firing home just before the halftime buzzer.
Brunei goalkeeper Ak Muhammad Asadullah Shafee Pg Hj Asaduzzaman pulled off several stops after the break and Brunei were moving the ball much better.
But they couldn’t stop Hasan from getting his second of the game in the 36th minute before Brunei grabbed one back through Muhammad Abdul Azim Zaini, who scored with a long range shot from their own half after catching the Iraqi goalkeeper off his line.
Muheb then headed home off a scramble seconds before the final buzzer to complete the win for Iraq.
Other games saw Afghanistan beat Malaysia 4-1 and Thailand beat Bahrain 4-0.
Brunei will take on Thailand today at 8pm local time.
They will then face Bahrain on Friday before finishing their Group A campaign against Malaysia the next day.