Friday, February 23, 2024
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Brunei Town

Brunei under-23s fall 6-0

Fadhil Yunus

The Brunei Darussalam’s under-23 national team marked their maiden appearance in the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Under-23 Championship with an emphatic 6-0 defeat to Cambodia at the Morodok Techo National Stadium last night.

The starting line-up saw seven players – goalkeeper Abdul Mutalip bin Haji Muhammad, defender Amirul Aizad bin Haji Zaidi and Muhammad Nazhan bin Zulkifle, midfielders Muhammad Alinur Rashimy Awang Jufri, Muhammad Nazry Aiman Azaman, Abdul Hariz Herman and Abdul Wadud Ramli- making their international debuts for the under-23 team.

The home side’s unrelenting pressure finally shared dividends as forward Sieng Chanthea headed home the opener following a cross from Nhean Sosidan.

The hosts quickly doubled the lead as the excellent Sosidan smashed home a loose ball from the edge of the box just two minutes after the restart.

With the home side appearing to be in the ascendancy, Cambodia defender Taing Bunchhai found an opening and unleashed a shot which was parried away by Brunei shot-stopper Abdul Mutalip.

The rampaging hosts were in cruise control as Sa Ty coolly slotted home past Abdul Mutalip after a cross by Buncchai was left unattended.

Brunei Darussalam’s and Cambodia’s team captains with match officials prior to kick-off. PHOTO: AFF

Brunei registered a shot on target but Muhammad Alinur Rashimy’s shot was saved with relative ease by Cambodian goalkeeper Hul Kimhuy.

The match was suspended for a half hour in the second half due to waterlogged pitch from heavy downpour. Upon return, Cambodia created an opportunity as substitute Narong Kakada saw his free header narrowly missed the mark.

The hosts came close to scoring with another substitute Ky Rina lurking to apply the finish but Abdul Mutalip gathered the ball to safety.

Brunei won their first corner of the match as Muhammad Nazhan showed promise with his purposeful run into the box.

Hirose Ryu’s charges added a fourth as Bunchhai made no mistake sliding home from close range after Min Ratanak’s initial free-kick fell invitingly into his path. Cambodia substitute Sor Ratana got into the act after applying a deft finish past Abdul Mutalip following a cross from Leng Nora.

The hosts completed the rout as Kakada showed flashes of brilliance in the box to guide home past Abdul Mutalip.

Brunei nearly came away with a consolation right at the very end through two successive free-kicks from Hakeme Yazid bin Said.

However, Cambodia kept the clean sheet and will be in pole position to qualify from Group ‘A’.

The national under-23 team will play Timor Leste in their next match on Thursday at the same venue.