Caption: A Brunei player (L) goes for a tackle against Malaysia. Picture: Courtesy of Thai FA
Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
BRUNEI fell 3-0 at the hands of Malaysia in group B of the AFF (ASEAN Football Federation) Under-15 Championship 2017 in Thailand yesterday.
Malaysia got off to a bright start at the Chonburi IPE Campus Stadium when Muhammad Azrul Haikal Ramlee’s fired a shot from 20 metres out to beat Brunei goalkeeper Md Riyan Aiman Jalil.
Muhammad Azrul was also involved in the second goal for Malaysia in the 37th minute when his freekick was beautifully saved by Md Riyan but Muhammad Amirul Azzim Ruzki would rush in to fire home a left-footer.
It didn't take them long to add to their tally in the second half when Muhammad Amirul Ashrafiq Hanifah scored in the 48th minute.
Brunei tried hard to get into the Malaysian box but even with the introduction of the highly-rated Md Aminuddin Masri, it failed to spark a fight back.
National under-15 coach Stephen Ng Heng Seng felt that the Malaysians were too strong for his players but was happy with the progress shown by the team.
"The experience of the Malaysians clearly shown in the game as we struggled with their interchanging of positions during their attacking combination play," said Ng after the match.
"The Malaysians were used to training in Europe, showing their composure especially their off the ball running, exposing our defence as we were not used to games of this nature back home.
"Despite the short coming, our boys fought a good battle with hard running and taking up good second defender covering position.
"We only conceded our third goal from their penetration play after a misplaced pass in midfield and the other two goals were conceded from long shots outside the box,” he added.
"This is a good lesson for our players and coaches as we need to find ways to expose our boys to higher level of play, especially in Asia's top playing level,” concluded Ng.
Meanwhile, Cambodia beat Timor Leste 1-0 to maintain their slim hopes of making the semi-finals.
The Cambodians scored the only goal of the game in the 41st minute through Sieng Chanthea to give the team six points from three matches played.