Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
BRUNEI are off to a disappointing start at the 3rd Women's Asian Hockey Challenge 2017 after falling 8-0 to Hong Kong earlier today.
The national women's hockey team were second best throughout the four-quarter match as they failed to put a single shot on target at the National Hockey Stadium of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
Hong Kong dominated the game from the opening minute pressing the Brunei Stingers up high in their own half and they grabbed the lead in the seventh minute courtesy of Chuen Sze Sze.
Their captain Lo I Ka almost doubled their lead when she fired from 15 metres out but it went just inches wide of the post.
Brunei were desperate to keep the ball off their own half with long passes but they couldn’t connect with their forwards as they were stifled by Hong Kong’s organised defensive line.
Evelyn Cheung was outstanding in the middle of the field engineering most of the attack allowing Hong Kong to create chances and add pressure to the Bruneians.
Tiffany Chan doubled their lead after converting from a penalty corner in the 17th minute before adding a second four minutes later after squeezing a powerful shot from 15 metres out to beat goalkeeper Fatimah Hj Usli.
The third period was the closest of the game when Brunei finally made their first real attack after Siti Nur Azura Hj Md Hamdan was set free on the left flank to allow Nooramnani Salim to slam the ball across the goal, but there was no teammate for the simple tap in into goal.
Lau Pui Sze scored Hong Kong’s fourth in the 32nd minute before Melvina Cheng added another one just seven minutes later as they led 5-0 going into the final period.
Hong Kong unloaded their bench and were not done yet. Chan Yi Man scored a brace and Chan Chi also got her name into the scoresheet to complete the rout.
The competition continues tomorrow with Hong Kong taking on Pakistan at 4pm.
Brunei coach Fauzi Awang: "I was expecting a really tight game. I don’t know what happened to the girls today. Well, the score tells it all. Nevertheless, we will try to improve from this game.
"Today's result is disappointing but I think we lacked the strength against them (Hong Kong), they really surprised us and we didn’t expect that they have improved this much.
"The players are disappointed with the defeat too and they are looking to bounce back from this so we need to keep positive and get their confidence and motivation up high.
Hong Kong coach Arif Ali: "We started slow, but we expected that. What we want to achieve is to progress in the game and we finished the game strong, so I am very happy about it.
"We are looking forward to play Pakistan now. We expect a very tough game. We will do our best and hopefully we will win.
"Everything is positive now (after the win) but we need to be aware of the mistakes that we did today and not to do it again.