Brunei Darussalam’s polo team bounced back from the heartache of missing out on the 4-6 high goal final to win bronze in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at the Inigo Zobel Polo Facility in Calatagan, Batangas yesterday.
His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen and Her Royal Highness Princess ‘Azemah Ni’matul Bolkiah secured a second successive polo bronze following their accomplishments in the previous edition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia two years ago.
Eager to put the Malaysia match behind their thoughts, the national team came from behind to defeat Indonesia 5-4 in the playoff after rallying from two goals down.
The Brunei team narrowly missed out on the gold medal match due to an inferior goal difference after three teams ended the qualifying stage with two wins and one loss each.
The team, led by His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen and Her Royal Highness Princess ‘Azemah Ni’matul Bolkiah, survived a scare after Indonesia raced to a 4-2 lead heading to the start of the third chukka.
Indonesia went 2-0 up in the first chukka before a goal from Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda Bahar, the penalty hero from the Philippines game, reduced the deficit.
However, Indonesia who were without a win in the qualifying stage threatened to deny Brunei a medal, after they held a 4-2 lead in the second chukka.
Huzaimi bin Haji Mahari netted the goal that tied the match in the second chukka before Indonesia pulled away.
However, Brunei engineered a comeback as Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda Bahar scored a double including in the last 34 seconds of play of the third chukka.
The double and a tight defence in the final chukka set the tone for the winner which was scored by Huzaimi.
Malaysia defended their title after a 7-5.5 win over the Philippines to secure gold.