Branch ‘D’ emerge champions

Fadhil Yunus

Md Yuzlin produced a moment of brilliance in the 1-0 win over Branch ‘B’ to help Branch ‘D’ win the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) Inter-Branch Football Championship 2019 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Gadong yesterday.

The championship-winning goal in the final came from a position which begged a cross into the box where an aerial threat looked forthcoming but Md Yuzlin chose to go alone and drilled an unerring finish past the opposition goalkeeper.

Buoyed by the opener, Branch ‘D’ pushed for a second, and a two-goal cushion nearly materialised but a header brushed against the post, much to the relief of Branch ‘B’.

Branch ‘B’ nearly cancelled out the opener with an equaliser after causing chaos in the final third and troubling Branch ‘D’ from a corner, but the latter somehow kept out their effort. Drama unfolded when Branch ‘D’ were reduced to 10 men after a player was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Supporters thought that Branch ‘D’ found a second goal after the ball had crossed the line, but the referee showed a second yellow card to the perpetrator. A collision with the goalkeeper was deemed dangerous in the closing minutes of the second half.

Guest of honour Commissioner of Police Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohammad Irwan bin Haji Hambali in a group photo with Branch ‘D’, champions of the RBPF Inter-Branch Football Championship 2019. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS

Earlier, the player had already been cautioned for kicking the ball into the net after the whistle had been blown for offside.

Commissioner of Police Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohammad Irwan bin Haji Hambali, the guest of honour, presented the prizes.

Also present was Deputy Commissioner of Police Pengiran Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Mohd Jefri bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Hamid.

In recognition of their individual performances, Md Na’im bin Tarif from Branch ‘D’ scooped the top scorer award with five goals while his teammate Mohd Faiz was named as the best player.

The prize presentation ceremony also saw Branch ‘A’ receiving their prizes for their third place finish.

After the prize presentation, the guest of honour joined the teams for a group photo. Branch ‘D’ proceeded into the final after completing the group stage with an unbeaten record of three wins and one draw.

The teams that finished in second and third place played a knock-out match to play Branch ‘D’ in the final. Branch ‘B’ emerged the winner of that tie against Branch ‘A’.