| Fadhil Yunus |
TIMOR Leste captured their maiden Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) for ASEAN Youth Football Tournament 2018 title after Henrique Wilson Da Cruz inspired his side to a 1-0 win in the final at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last night.
The Boavista forward scored only one goal in the 2014 edition but proved to be the match-winner in the 51st minute with a fine solo effort worthy of winning a championship.
The Cambodians showed promise in taking the lead after defender Sath Rosib found space to deliver a teasing cross into the box as Sos Suhana missed a decisive touch to guide the ball home.
Timor Leste forward Rufino Walter Gama produced a moment of magic after skilfully lifting the ball into the air to send his marker away before bursting forward, sending the crowd on its feet.
Timor Leste midfielder Osvaldo Lucas Baptista kept the ball in play before finding Jose Maria Dos Reis who blazed his shot wide.
Jose Maria then passed the ball into the right-hand side of the box as Rufino’s squared the ball into the far post which was not picked up by a teammate.
Sos Suhana, who has contributed to every single goal for his country in this year’s HBT with two goals and two assists, nearly gifted his side the lead but sent his shot wide in full stretch.
Cambodia forward Brak Thiva then curled his shot but did not trouble Timor Leste goalkeeper Fagio Augusto Da Silva.
The young Angkor Warriors were reduced to 10 men when defender Chheng Meng was sent off after an altercation broke between both sides.
Timor Leste nearly made their numerical advantage count as defender Nelson Sarmento Viegas struck straight to the goalkeeper.
Cambodia broke in a counter as Sos Suhana raced clear into the box but Fagio moved out of his line in time to snuff out the danger.
Timor Leste forward Henrique Wilson Da Cruz showed his athleticism collecting a high ball and skipping past a few players in the Cambodian defence before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Keo Soksela.
Cambodia nearly made an immediate reply as Brak Thiva directed a neat cross by Rosib towards goal.
But Cambodia forward Khuon Laboravy was unable to get the right contact with his header after reacting to a dangerous cross as a relieved Fagio Augusto gathered the ball.
On the other end, Timor Leste substitute Silveiro Da Resureicao sent the ball wide after meeting a fine delivery from goal-scorer Henrique.
The Cambodians despite their numerical disadvantage, looked more likely to grab the next goal which would have forced extra time.
Laboravy resisted the challenge of his marker but was unable to lift the ball into goal with Fagio Augusto out of his line.
Cambodia came close again from a set-piece after defender Ly Vahed headed wide much to the relief of the Timor Leste rear-guard.
With two minutes of normal time remaining, Brak then surged into a promising area before driving a shot wide.
In injury time, Sos Suhana nearly drew his side level after his shot sent the Timor Leste motionless but it ended wide.