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Brunei U-19 team gain new fans despite 7-0 loss in AFF meet

Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam’s under-19 national team earned huge admiration and widespread support among Indonesian followers in social media despite a 7-0 defeat to Indonesia in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Under-19 Boys’ Championship at the Patriot Candrabhaga Stadium in Bekasi on Monday night.

The Young Wasps captured the hearts of Indonesians with Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (FABD)’s official Instagram account flooded with positive comments.

The young Bruneians have also been credited for their attitude and good sporting behaviour despite succumbing to a heavy defeat for a second successive game in Group ‘A’. One Instagram user’s comment reads, “Good attitude, good team!” Despite the manner of the defeat, Brunei appeared to have won a legion of supporters as the Indonesians encouraged them to lift up their spirits and continue their pursuit towards progress.

The Brunei players have also attracted attention as supporters inquired about their personal Instagram accounts to add them, while countless emoji of a heart, fire and both countries’ flags were also seen in FABD’s post.

The overwhelming support demonstrated by the home supporters highlights the unity and solidarity within the Asean football community, as football in the region gears towards recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brunei Darussalam’s under-19 national team in a group photo. PHOTO: AFF
Brunei’s under-19 national team won the hearts of Indonesian fans and garnered widespread support on social media for their outstanding sportsmanship despite succumbing to a heavy defeat against Indonesia in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Under-19 Boys’ Championship. PHOTO: AFF

The Indonesia under-19 national team opened the scoring two minutes inside the contest through forward Hokky Caraka Bintang Brilliant after steering home a low cross by Kakang Rudianto. Ten minutes later, the Young Garuda doubled their advantage through Ronaldo Kwateh before Hokky – who netted his first international career goals – added his second of the game.

The PSS Sleman attacker completed his hat-trick in the 19th minute with Kakang getting another assist before Arkhan Fikri joined in the act a minute later.

The prolific Hokky Caraka stormed to the top of the tournament’s scoring chart after adding a fourth goal to his name in the brink of half-time.

The goals dried up in the second half with Alfriyanto Nico Saputro the only scorer who were able to breach the Brunei defense.

The Brunei under-19 national team will continue their campaign against Vietnam today at the Patriot Candrabhanga Stadium.