Football

Published: Tuesday December 10, 2013 MYT 7:30:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday December 10, 2013 MYT 10:14:24 PM

Brunei make Malaysia fight for 2-0 win

Rozaimi Abdul Rahman celebrates after scoring Malaysia's first goal against Brunei in their Group A match at the SEA Games. Malaysia won 2-0. – Bernama Photo

Rozaimi Abdul Rahman celebrates after scoring Malaysia's first goal against Brunei in their Group A match at the SEA Games. Malaysia won 2-0. – Bernama Photo

The national Under-23 boys made heavy weather of their opening Group A match by eking out a 2-0 win over lowly Brunei 2-0 at the Zeyar Thiri Stadium in Naypyitaw.

Striker Mohd Rozaimi Abdul Rahman opened accounts in the 31st minute before winger Ashri Chuchu added the second in the 71st minute on Tuesday.

Coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee started the match with striker Izzaq Faris Ramlan and Rozaimi upfront while usual target man A. Thamil Arasu was shifted to the right flank.

He paired up skipper Mohd Irfan Fazail with Mohd Nazmi Faiz Mansor to run the team’s engine room.

Malaysia dominated possession but were wasteful with their chances. Their defence even looked fragile whenever Brunei launched fast counter-attacking moves.

A visibly unhappy Kim Swee said that it’s always hard to play the first game of any competition “but I’m glad that we managed to secure full points”.

“If you don’t convert your chances, it gives your opponent the confidence and that’s what happened today,” said Kim Swee during the post-match conference.

“Our defence was not too bad, although Brunei did look dangerous in a few of their counter-attacks. The boys are not happy with the scoreline ... they feel that they should have scored more, but what’s important is that we managed to get the full points.”

The forwards had several scoring chances but Brunei custodian Omar Nur Aqammaddin Sallehuddin was outstanding between the posts, making at least a dozen saves.

Brunei coach Kwon Oh-soon said his side played their best game after two rounds of matches. The oil-rich sultanate lost 7-0 to Vietnam in their opening match on Sunday. Brunei have never got past the group stage in the history of the SEA Games football competition.

“I believe we played our best game ... we had a short training before the competition and lost a few players through injuries,” said the South Korean.

“Our goalkeeper (Omar Nur Aqammaddin) was our best player today. He did well to keep the score down. We also have a very young team and I’m confident this team can go far with proper coaching.”

Malaysia will play Laos next on Friday.


Tags / Keywords: football, SEA Games, Malaysia, Brunei, Myanmar, Naypyitaw, Nyapidaw

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