| Fadhil Yunus |
BRUNEI Darussalam’s national football team will be without the services of nine key players from DPMM FC in the first leg of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1 against Mongolia at the MFF Football Centre in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on June 6.
The nine players who are not part of the 23-member squad for the World Cup qualifier are Abdul Mu’iz Sisa, Fakharazzi Hassan, Azwan Salleh, Azwan Ali Rahman, Hendra Idris, Azizi Ali Rahman, Najib Tarif, Shafie Effendy and Nurikhwan Othman.
Brunei Darussalam national head coach Robbie Servais originally planned to build the squad around the nine players but their absence has provided a huge impact to his plans.
“It (the players not in the squad) has a big impact on my plans. The plan is to build around the nine players. There is nothing I can do, I forget about it, look what I have and work with the players that I have,” said Servais in an interview with the media.
Training in Xianghe, where the national team is based at in China, has gone smoothly and well where they trained twice a day with a very high intensity in training. Servais heaped praise on the excellent facilities in which it can lift the spirit of the players.
The Dutchman, who was appointed last month, shared that the team played very well during their friendly match against Beijing Sport University and although their opponents were stronger, they fashioned better opportunities.
“We have a very good game against a second division Chinese team, a team that is stronger but we follow the plans. We managed to keep a clean sheet and created better chances than the opponent,” the former Singapore under-19 head coach said.
Servais has tagged Mongolia as the favourite as they are the hosts and could have a full squad to choose from, with their coach ever present with the team for a couple of years.
He added, “I see some footage of them, they look a little bit stronger than us but we have a plan and if we stick to the plan, we also have a chance against Mongolia.”
The Wasps will play the second leg at home at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on June 11.