Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Brunei under-20s lose to Kyrgyzstan in AFC meet

Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam’s national under-20 team concluded their campaign in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-20 Asian Cup Qualifiers with a 6-0 defeat to Kyrgyzstan at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on Friday.

The result marked the Young Wasps’ third consecutive defeat in the qualifying meet following heavy losses against the United Arab Emirates and Iran in Group ‘J’.

The winless Bruneians ended their campaign without registering a single goal to their name and conceded 19 goals.

In contrast, the huge win ensured the designated group hosts a place in the main draw of the competition in Uzbekistan next year as one of the best five runner-up teams.

The young Kyrgyz opened the scoring from the penalty spot through Mirlan Bekberdinov in the 16th minute before doubling their lead after Beknaz Almazbekov powered a brilliant header home following a deep cross from Said Vladimirovich Datsiev nine minutes later.

Kyrgyzstan benefitted from a Bruneian player gifting possession as an unmarked Arshen Sharshenbekov found the bottom corner with a well taken goal.

Brunei and Kyrgyzstan footballers in action. PHOTO: KYRGYZ FOOTBALL UNION

There was still time deep into injury time in the first half for Kyrgyzstan to grab another goal as Bekberdinov belted a screamer from distance.

The young White Falcons were awarded their second penalty of the game scored by Ermek Kenzhebaev in the 52nd minute.

The hosts compounded Brunei’s woes in injury time as defender Aitenir Balbakov planted a firm header from close range after meeting a fine cross from Kenzhebaev.

The nine group winners from the qualifying competition have been confirmed with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Japan, Jordan, South Korea, Indonesia, Oman, Tajikistan and Iran cementing a place in next year’s AFC Under-20 Asian Cup.

Along with hosts Uzbekistan, they will be joined by four of the five confirmed best-runners up team – Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, China and Syria.

The remaining two teams will be determined in October 2022 following the completion of Group ‘H’ matches which pit Australia, Iraq, India and designated group hosts Kuwait.