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Brunei under-23s’ first AFF match against Cambodia ‘an eye-opener’

Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam Under-23 Head Coach Aminuddin bin Jumat has labelled the 6-0 defeat to Cambodia during the ASEAN Football Federation Under-23 Championship as ‘an eye-opener’.

The Young Wasps ended the country’s long wait for a competitive international appearance since 2019 after playing in Group ‘A’ of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Under-23 Championship at the Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Monday.

The head coach said during a post-match press conference, “We take this opportunity as our stepping stone to expose our players.

“We really lacked on set-piece but we will try to improve for our upcoming match.”

He continued, “Cambodia is a really good team and they are good with their set-piece and ball possession. It is our opportunity to bring the players out and we hope that they can feel the vibe of the tournament.

“It is an eye-opener for our boys where they can see the difference in level between the two teams. It is a learning process for us to improve in the next game.”

Brunei Darussalam Under-23 football team plays against Cambodia. PHOTO: SPORTFIVE

Nine players made their international debuts at under-23 level including two 17-year olds Nazry Aiman Azaman and Danisyh Syariee Masrazni- two of the youngest embers in the squad.

Only four players – Muhammad Wafi Aminuddin, Muhammad Nur Asyraffahmi Norsamri, Muhammad Hanif Aiman bin Haji Adanan and Muhammad Hakeme Yazid bin Said – in the starting line-up had been previously tested at under-23 international level.

“Obviously we haven’t been involved in any higher tournaments but the new players did well today and I hope they can push themselves to a higher level.”

Aminuddin further added, “We learnt the pace of the game that we need to improve especially when we want to play forward. We were a bit slow and we lacked creativity. Of course it is not easy to make a quick impact but we try to improve on these things.”

Meanwhile, his opposite number Cambodia head coach Hirose Ryu said, “We did not have as good a preparation as we would have liked but the players rose to the occasion and performed well on the night.”

He added, “We did not prepare any specific game plan for any teams where the focus was on our own game of high possession.”

The national under-23 team will meet Timor Leste tomorrow before concluding their group stage against Philippines at the Prince Stadium on February 20.