Fadhil Yunus in Manila, the Philippines
Brunei Darussalam’s under-22 football team ended their campaign at the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games without registering a single goal after a disappointing 7-0 defeat to Singapore at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila yesterday.
The Young Wasps have previously drawn blanks in all their group games against Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Laos.
Brunei were put on the backfoot in the opening periods of the match as Singapore came out all guns blazing with the first goal arriving via a set-piece just three minutes after captain Irfan Fandi came uncontested at the far post to head home Hami Syahin’s pinpoint cross.
Singapore young striker Ikhsan Fandi, who is already capped at senior level, reminded the Brunei defence off his talents with his utilisation of space before getting his shot across but which sliced wide. Nevertheless, his attempt was a strong indication of the Singapore attacking onslaught.
With the Singapore side determined to end their campaign with a win, Jacob Mahler saw his towering header clear the bar after connecting a cross from a teammate.
The offensive threat was a relentless one as Ryhan Stewart gave the Bruneian defence a chase on the flanks before cutting back for Faris Ramli but his effort skewed wide.
Hami Syahin blasted an effort wide after a loose ball fell before Faris Ramli skied his effort wide again.
Faris gave the keys to Haiqal Pashia with a neat pass but the latter’s effort took a deflection for a corner.
The Singaporeans marginally missed the target as Faris saw his shot brush against the post.
Brunei already have a history of being left shorthanded in this year’s meet and they went a man down again after Hanif Azman was dismissed for a second offence.
It took the 67th minute for Singapore to add to their account as Ikhsan placed a shot past the Brunei goalkeeper Ishyra Asmin bin Jabidi with precision.
Singapore’s Saifullah Akbar joined in the act with an expert finish in the 72nd minute before Faris netted a quick-fire double in a space of five minutes.
The Young Lions, who were in a similar position with Brunei prior to their final group game, rained goals as Ikhsan was on the double after completing a string of passes.
Ikhsan completed his hat-trick with a cool finish in the dying seconds of the game to compound the misery of the Brunei team.