Brunei Darussalam’s national football team marked their return in the regional scene with a narrow 3-2 loss to Laos during an international friendly match at the New Laos National Stadium in Vientiane last night.
The country’s rising star Hakeme Yazid bin Said marked his international debut for the senior team with a stunning free-kick goal, following in the footsteps of his brothers Shahrazen Said and Adi Said.
The hosts got off the mark in the sixth minute after Laos defender Phoutthavong Sangvilay curled his free-kick beating Brunei’s debutant goalkeeper Ishyra Asmin Jabidi.
Despite the early setback, Brunei were found to be in an advanced position in Laos’ half as Abdul Azizi Ali Rahman tested the home goalkeeper Keooudone Souvannasangso from outside the box with a fierce drive.
The attentive Azizi Ali Rahman bested a Laotian defender in the box but his ensuing effort ended wide much to the relief of Souvannasangso.
His forward teammate Hakeme Yazid also had an effort on target after seizing an opportunity from a misplaced pass.
After a promising spell for the visitors, Laos doubled the lead as forward Chony Wenpaserth coolly slotted home a crisp pass from his teammate in the 27th minute.
Laos forward Visith Bounpaseuth managed a shot but Ishyra Asmin made a good save.
The Million Elephants, buoyed by fervent home supporters, made it 3-0 after midfielder Phithack Kongmathilath tapped the ball home in the 33th minute from a Phoutthasay Khochalern assist.
However, the Wasps reduced the deficit as Azwan Ali Rahman – one of the more experienced players in the national team – scored his fifth international goal six minutes later.
The opening stages of the second half saw Brunei enjoy a fair share of possession as near misses in the box prevented them from inflicting potential damage.
Brunei came within a goal of finding the equaliser as Hakeme Yazid, who recently turned 19, marked his arrival in the international scene with a stunning free-kick in the 72nd minute.
The teenage sensation was one of seven players who made their international debut alongside Ishyra Asmin Jabidi, Alinur Rashimy Jufri, Amirul Hakeem Kasim, Abdul Hariz Herman, Nazhan Zulkifle and Eddy Shahrol Izzat Omar.
The Wasps nearly tied the match after the ball was deflected off a Laotian defender in the latter stages of the game.