| Fadhil Yunus |
BRUNEI Darussalam failed to advance to the AFF Suzuki Cup 2014 finals with the latest 3-1 defeat to Myanmar at the National Sports Complex in Vientiane last night, a third successive loss of the qualification round.
Cambodia’s stunning 3-2 victory against Timor Leste in an earlier match had given a glimmer of hope for the teams playing catch-up but the national team knew only a win would do.
Adi Said was found all alone in the Myanmar’s half as early as in the 7th minute but lost balance in the crucial moment without an offside flag being raised.
The national team played Shahrazen Said onside but a Myanmar defender managed to get a crucial touch and consequently avoiding a corner.
Azwan Salleh launched a long ball forward which gave all sorts of complications to the Myanmar defence but they dealt with it away for a corner.
It could have very well been a dream start as Adi Said raced clear and having succeeded in beating the Myanmar shot-stopper steered his shot agonisingly close off the crossbar.
Myanmar executed a free kick directly out of a training routine but could not meet the end of a pass as Brunei had enough bodies to stem the danger out.
Kyaw Ko Ko’s set-piece was screaming for the top corner but Azman did well to punch the ball away.
Myanmar played a neat exchange and looked certain to pulling the trigger but solid Reduan Hj Petara sent the ball high into the Myanmar skies.
Kyaw effortlessly passed a defender before striking a low shot and Myanmar’s new head coach Radojko Avramovic’s tactical switch paid off as substitute Min Min Thu reached first to poke the ball home.
Myanmar doubled the lead as Kyaw got the better off a defender to strike a low shot past a hapless Azman as Brunei’s hopes were made even tougher to get back into the tie never mind a win.
Brunei Darussalam defended valiantly with a defender forcing to sacrifice one for the team after being involved in a collision with Soe Min Oo who appeared certain to nod his side’s third.
Soe Min had a good chance after his team- mate shot was blocked off a defender but could not find the accuracy to plant the ball to the bottom corner.
Myanmar then brushed against the woodwork as Azman could only stand motionless with the ball flying over him.
Adi Said got Brunei back into the match after a finely crafted goal, rounding the keeper with a quick touch and composing himself before thumping the ball home into the back of the net with a group of Myanmar players clearly powerless to stop the outcome.
However, the national team switched off realising it was offside as Kyi Lin surged clear and delightfully dinked the ball over Azman to regain the two- goal cushion.
Min Min Thu could not finish off a fine work by his team-mate on the by-line after directing his header wide with the goal gaping though he could claim being under intense pressure.