Caption: Brunei players (yellow) in action against Vietnam at the AFF Under-18 Championship in Myanmar yesterday. Picture: Courtesy of Myanmar Football Federation
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
NATIONAL Under-18 football coach Takao Fujiwara is not using the tight schedule at the AFF (ASEAN Football Federation) Under-18 Championship in Myanmar as an excuse for poor results after their 8-1 drubbing by Vietnam yesterday.
Brunei had started out their Group B campaign with a difficult 3-2 comeback win over the Philippines on Tuesday - just two days before their second game - and Fujiwara admitted fatigue came into play.
“In the game against Vietnam, the players were tired after 70 minutes as we just played the Philippines on Tuesday – so we only had one day (Wednesday) to rest,” said Fujiwara in a press release from NFABD.
“For Vietnam, it was their first match of the tournament.
“It is the same situation for the next game as Myanmar will have rested for three days, so many of their players will be fresh.
“But we are Bruneians. We must be strong and try to get some points,” he stressed.
The national under-18 football team will play their third game in six days against Myanmar tomorrow (7.30pm Brunei time) and Fujiwara said that his players will have to put thoughts of tired legs aside.
The team arrived in Yangon last Friday (Sept) after a football exchange programme in Japan from August 20, where they contested in four friendly matches against Japan League youth teams and a high school team.
Fujiwara added that the Sultanate need to play more high-level matches, such as that in Japan and their current competition in Yangon, to improve.
“In Japan, the training camp teams were all playing at this level – even normal high school teams,” said the Japanese.
“Even though we lost to Vietnam, I am proud of my players as we scored against our opponents. We always need to play this kind of high-intensity games.
“I am sure if we do, Brunei will be able to put up better fights against strong countries,” he concluded.
The other game tomorrow will see the Philippines take on Indonesia.