Caption: The national under-15 football team first XI against Vietnam in a group picture before kick off. Picture: Courtesy of Thai FA
Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE national Under-15 football team put up a strong fight in their narrow 2-1 defeat to Vietnam in the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Under-15 Championship in Thailand yesterday.
Vo Nguyen Hoang got Vietnam off to a good start with a brilliant effort from the edge of the box in the 16th minute at the Chonburi IPE Campus Stadium.
The national side, who were held 0-0 by Timor Leste in their first game on Monday, produced a much better performance causing trouble for the opposition and managed to level in the 36th minute.
Md Aminuddin Masri scored the first goal for Brunei in the campaign when he stole the ball off a Vietnamese defender before firing a low shot past keeper Nguyen Duy Dung.
Vietnam were desperate to find the winner against the resilient Brunei side and it was only in the 80th minute that Nguyen Quoc Hoan found the winning goal for Vietnam capitalising on a defensive error.
Head coach Stephen Ng Heng Seng praised his boys for a determined performance despite the defeat.
"The boys played very well today (Wednesday), carrying out their tactical responsibilities with strong ccommitment," he said after the match.
"The team is shaping especially in defence... It was good to see many battles such as two on two situations well won by our players.
"The Vietnam winning goal came late in game after a well worked combination play exposing our right back to go through to score.
"Overall it was the best game played between a Brunei and Vietnam side in recent years... the boys have shown their football potential today," he added.
The other match yesterday saw Malaysia pick up their second win in the group when they beat Timor Leste 2-0.
Brunei will go up against Malaysia tomorrow before playing Cambodia on Sunday and will end their group stage play against the Philippines on July 18.