Brunei end AFC campaign with defeat against Cambodia

Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam’s under-19 team concluded their campaign in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-19 Championship Qualifiers 2020 with a 3-0 defeat against Cambodia at the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia last Sunday night.

The Young Wasps had been beaten in comprehensive fashion on two occasions following 9-0 and 11-0 losses to Thailand and Malaysia. Mohd Ikhmarol Izzat bin Haji Omar’s young charges have earlier tasted their first victory in the qualifying competition with a 4-3 win over Northern Mariana Islands.

Cambodia entered the final Group ‘G’ tie as heavy favourites following their stunning 2-1 victory over Thailand while Brunei were underdogs.

It was all too familiar to be on the backfoot when Lim Pisoth fired the Young Angkor Warriors into the lead with a fine strike in the 14th minute.

Two minutes later, Cambodia’s Sieng Chanthea got the better of his marker but he nodded his header wide much to the relief of the Brunei rear-guard.

Brunei Darussalam’s under-19 forward Mohammad Aminuddin bin Haji Masri in action during the match against Cambodia. PHOTO: CAMBODIA FOOTBALL FEDERATION

Cambodia’s lead doubled before the hour mark after midfielder Keo Oudom powered his header in the near post after connecting from a corner.

Ean Pisey skipped past his marker but his effort from an acute angle was blocked away by Brunei’s goalkeeper Mohammad Riyan Aiman bin Jali.

Met Samel had a sniff in goal when he tested Mohammad Riyan Aiman with a fierce low drive but the goalkeeper managed to deal with it.

The midfielder had another chance to extend his side’s lead when he was left unmarked at the far post but he skied his effort wide.

The Young Angkor Warriors could not make their opportunities count as Thy Lieng directed his shot wide after collecting a loose ball with only Mohammad Riyan Aiman in his radar.

Several Cambodian players were lining up to score as Chea Sokmeng blasted his shot wide while Brunei defender Md Aisan Aisamuddin Abdullah bin Md Aiman made a brilliant goal-bound clearance.

The threat was far from over when Cambodia midfielder Chan Sophea shaped up for a shot but his attempt cleared the bar.

With Cambodia persistently knocking on the door, Mohammad Riyan Aiman came to Brunei’s aid after he made a save from point blank with Sieng Chantea destined to score.

With victory safe, they scored a third as substitute Min Ratanak pounced home from close range five minutes from time after the ball ricocheted off the Brunei goalkeeper.