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Brunei star Faiq delivers first assist for Chonburi

Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam national winger Faiq Jefri Bolkiah registered a first assist for new club Chonburi FC during a 3-2 defeat to Nongbua Pitchaya FC in the Hilux Revo Thai League 1 at the Pitchaya Stadium in Nong Bua Lamphu, Thailand on Saturday.

The forward’s accomplishment in the Thai top football division further marked a new milestone in Brunei’s football history during his second league appearance in a Sharks shirt.

The Bruneian came on as a substitute in the 57th minute to replace fellow winger Phitak Pimpae and made an instant impact just nine minutes later when he assisted in-form striker Yoo Byung-Soo to make it 2-2.

Faiq showed his signature dribbling ability and slipped past his marker Sathaporn Daengsee, who won three caps for the Thailand national team- before swinging in an exquisite cross for the South Korean to head home past goalkeeper Kittikun Jamsuwan.

Three minutes after the restart, Faiq showed determination and hunger in winning the ball off an opposing player who appeared to be the favourite to retrieve the ball first.

The home side found a winner as Tassanapong Muaddarak stole in the back post to meet a header following a cross from Daengsee.

Earlier, Mahmoud Khitam had given Nongbua Pitchaya the lead in the 11th minute with a composed finish after latching on a pass from Lursan Thiamrat.

Faiq Jefri Bolkiah. PHOTO: CHONBURI FC

The forward needed confirmation following a review from Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for a possible offside but any worries were put to bed after the referee awarded the goal.

Faiq’s team hit back five minutes later after Pimpae slammed a fine effort after the rebound off the Nongbua Pitchaya defence fell invitingly to his path.

The hosts pulled ahead again in the 36th minute through a superb Tardeli Reis’s header as Khitam turned provider.

Chonburi remained third in the table at least for a day as reigning holders BG Pathum had the opportunity to climb above them with victory against Muangthong United.

Faiq, who joined the Thai outfit after a brief spell with Portuguese top flight side CS Maritimo, could be in contention for a starting berth in the next league match against Khon Kaen United at the Chonburi Stadium yesterday.

The 23-year old made a historic debut during the 1-1 draw against Muangthong United as the first Bruneian to play in the Thai professional football league on January 9.