Brunei Darussalam’s football team made history after they qualified to the group stage of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Mitsubishi Electric Cup (AMEC 2022) following a 6-3 aggregate win over Timor Leste in a two-legged qualification round.
The Wasps lost 1-0 in the reverse leg at the Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex yesterday, but a convincing 6-2 win in the first leg was enough to take place in the main draw against the rest of the Southeast Asian teams.
The national team, who will make an appearance in the regional meet for the first time since 1996, will join powerhouses Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Cambodia in the main draw, which commences next month.
Timor Leste midfielder Jhon Oliveira found a way to unlock the home defence but Brunei goalkeeper Haimie anak Nyaring intervened by sticking his legs out to deny a certain goal.
For all Timor Leste’s attacking endeavours, they deservedly took the lead on the day as Mouzinho Barreto De Lima poked the ball home from close range following an appetising pass by Joao Pedro Da Silva Freitas.
Timor Leste came close towards doubling the lead as Mario Quintao saw his cross-cum-shot grazed against the bar, before substitute Alexandro Kefi fired his shot wide from the rebound.
Brunei goalkeeper Haimie then comfortably saved a tame shot from Joao Freitas three minutes from time.
Brunei’s team captain Hendra Azam Idris said the team deserved to progress to the main draw of the competition.
Meanwhile, Timor Leste head coach Gopalkrishnan A S Ramasamy lamented his side’s missed opportunities despite showing their ability to win. He said, “We did not convert our chances apart from the goal that we’ve scored right at the end of the first half.”