| Fadhil Yunus |
BRUNEI Darussalam national under-18 head coach Takao Fujiwara has apologised for their 7-0 loss to Myanmar in Group ‘B’ in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Under-18 Youth Championship at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon last weekend.
The national under-18 team suffered their second consecutive loss in the competition which ultimately spelled elimination.
The national under-18s will accomplish two feats with victory over the young ‘Merah Putih’ by confirming third spot and producing their best ever points tally since the inception of the tournament at this level.
Despite the obvious difficulties against Myanmar, Fujiwara has been pleased with his players.
“Many people may be disappointed with the score, but I’m proud of our players,” said the national under-18 head coach.
“I’m glad our opponents here always use their first team when playing us, and not their second team.
“This means other countries admit that Brunei is not so weak,” the Japanese continued.
The hosts responded in perfect fashion following their disappointing 2-1 loss and looked in no mood to take it easy against the young Bruneians.
“Myanmar were more aggressive than in their previous games and played with the same intensity as Vietnam,” said Fujiwara.
The national under-18s were battling to salvage a point once Myanmar had put their noses in front.
“We must have been more defensive, but after Myanmar scored, we attacked to get the point,” he said.
Brunei under-18s have one final shot to produce their best ever tally at this level against Indonesia tomorrow who will be praying for a Vietnam victory or at a minimum a draw.
The young Golden Star secured their place in the semi-finals alongside Thailand and Malaysia from Group ‘A’ after a decisive 3-0 win over Indonesia yesterday.
Meanwhile, Myanmar battered Philippines with an identical score-line from their previous group stage game to climb into second place to ensure a dramatic finish in Group ‘B’.