Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
BRUNEI went down fighting 4-3 to Bahrain in Group A of the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Under-20 Futsal Championship in Bangkok last night.
It was the best showing to date for the Sultanate but they ultimately fell short after missing several opportunities in front of goal.
“There were some positive changes in this game,” said national futsal coach Qusmaini Noor Hj Rusli in a press release from NFABD.
“We tried to press our opponents from the first minute until the end with the hope that they would make some misplaced passes.
“Our players were also braver today when it came to ball possession during attack,” he added.
“They missed many open chances and I hope they will come up with a better quality performance in our last game tomorrow (against Malaysia),” continued the Malaysian.
The Sultanate trailed as early as the second minute after Ali Husain netted from a counter-attack.
The game was level courtesy of Abdul Azim Boll Hassan in the 11th minute but Bahrain responded the next minute with Sadeq Ahmad unleashing a powerful shot to find the back of the net.
Brunei faced a two-goal deficit conceding in the first minute after the interval with Ebrahim Aldoseri getting his name on the scoresheet.
The national under-20 side pulled back to 3-2 in the 27th minute after Muhammad Abdul Khaaliq Hj Lazim scored off a counter-attack.
Ali netted his second of the match with a long range effort in the 35th minute.
Qusmaini then sent on an outfield player in place of goalkeeper Ak Muhammad Asadullah Shafee to put an extra man on the ball.
The move paid dividends almost immediately as Abdul Azim stole the ball and squared it to Nazirul Haziq Adeni to score three minutes from the final buzzer.
The day’s other games saw hosts Thailand beat Afghanistan 8-1 and Iraq beat Malaysia 4-2.
Thailand and Iraq have won all four of their Group A games and will progress into the quarter-finals as the top two teams in the group.
Brunei will complete their campaign with a meeting against Malaysia today.