The Brunei Darussalam national futsal team will take on defending champions Thailand in their opening Group ‘A’ game of the upcoming Asean Football Federation (AFF) Futsal Championship 2022 at the Huamark Indoor Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand on April 2.
The Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (FABD) released the official fixtures for the tournament, which will end on April 10, yesterday.
The Wasps will then meet Indonesia two days later followed by a clash against Cambodia on April 5 before concluding their group stage campaign against Malaysia the next day.
The top two teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals, which is slated to be held on April 8, with the winner in the last four moving on to the title decider on April 10.
With the finalists guaranteed passage to the AFC Futsal Asian Cup in Kuwait, the third remaining spot will be determined by the winner in the third-place playoff.
Organised by the Asean Football Federation, the AFF Futsal Championship served as a qualification process for the continental showpiece, which is slated to be held in late September.
In preparing for the tournament specifically for AFF member associations, the national futsal team recently attended an engagement session and ramped up their fitness training at the new FABD’s gym.
Brunei last made an appearance in the 2018 edition when it was held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
The national futsal team suffered heavy losses against powerhouses Thailand and Vietnam but fought competitively in their final group game against Timor Leste when they were narrowly beaten 2-1.
Brunei’s Awangku Najib gave them the lead after three minutes but their opponents staged a comeback following an effort from Bendito Ximenes and an own goal from Khalil Saab at the Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta Sports Complex.
The national team’s imminent participation will be much-welcomed to the sporting scene affected by the COVID-19 pandemic mainly football and futsal.
The national under-23 team competed in the AFF Under-23 Championship in Phnom Penh, Cambodia last month, marking the country’s first appearance overseas since the start of the pandemic.
The AFF Futsal Championship will mark the second of five main tournaments that FABD have planned to participate this year.