The national football team is looking to pull off some surprises in the Tri-Nations international friendlies when they kick off against Maldives this afternoon at 4pm in Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex.
The Tri-Nations campaign will see Brunei face Maldives and Laos from September 21-27.
During the pre-match press conference, newly-appointed Head Coach of the Brunei Darussalam national team Mario Rivera Campesino said, “We must try to win the match. We will try to improve and put up a good fight. The players are starting to be more competitive and are ready to play a high intensity match.”
He said while the Brunei team has had fitness issues because of the lack of matches during COVID-19 outbreak in the past two years, the team is steadily moving toward achieving the ideal fitness level and will give their best against Maldives.
Brunei’s captain Hendra Azam added, “There are no more excuses for losing in this game. Despite us being ranked much lower than Maldives (Maldives is ranked 156 in FIFA ranking while Brunei is ranked 190), I want to win this game. Although our preparation is not 100 per cent, we hope to give a good match.”
Maldives’ head coach Francesco Morieoro said, “We have not been training for the last two days due to the long journey to Brunei Darussalam. We have watched some footage of Brunei’s team and we feel that Brunei Darussalam is a good team and we need to really prepare ourselves for a tough match.”
He added, “We are currently making changes in the team. We have brought several young players to the squad and will be fielding them to see how well they can perform. It will not be an easy game. “
Maldives captain Akram Abdul Ghanee said the team was force to leave out one regular player due to injury and there are several young players in the squad.