(Top)Brunei skipper Azwan Muhd
Salleh in action during their SEA
Games match against Vietnam at
the Lebak Bulus Stadium in
coach Dayem Hj Ali.Pictures: BT/
A Magnificently merciless Vietnam thrashed Brunei 8-0 in yesterday's 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games football competition here, the biggest margin of victory by any team in the tournament so far.
Outmuscling, outsmarting and outrunning Brunei who have now lost all hope of reaching the semi-finals it was definitely not the kind of performance His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah the President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BNOC) and Honorary President of the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) wanted to see from the team.
Helplessly letting in four goals in the opening 15 minutes, the Sultanate's slim chances of qualifying for Saturday's last-four faded as quick as the setting sun over the Lebak Bulus Stadium here.
Making their return to the competition after 10 years, the tie was always going to be their toughest test. It also showed the gulf in standard between Brunei who are back in international football after a two-year suspension and 2009 runners-up Vietnam.
Dayem Hj Ali had little to say during his post-match Press conference.
"As the coach, I have no excuses. I take responsibility," said a stoic Dayem, who saw his team finish one-man down for the third time in four games.
"I am sorry to everyone because we have not performed like I promised we would.
"Of course we are surprised. Letting in four goals in 15 minutes ... It has never happened in my life before. The players were all shocked.
"Absolutely, I think the goals we let in should not be forgiven," added Dayem, the second game in a row he used the word after their 4-0 loss to Myanmar on Wednesday.
The win puts Vietnam top of the six-team group while Brunei remain last, with the former now with 10 points after four games and the latter only one.
The Brunei fans knew it was going to be a long evening after Nguyen Van Quyet netted the first of his three goals after only 51 seconds when he headed home a cross by Hoang Van Binh,
Brunei's shaken defence was at sixes and sevens, and a technically superior Vietnam used their nifty passing and pace to find space at will.
Van Quyet netted a quick-fire brace in the 12th and 13th minutes, his first coming after slotting home past second-choice goalkeeper Junaidi Akim during a one-on-one when he received a through pass from captain Pham Than Luong and the second after stealing possession and netting another low shot to Junaidi's right.
Than Luong was running the show from midfield and got a deserved goal in the 15th minute after connecting on a cross from the left that evaded the entire Brunei back-line to make it 4-0.
Brunei's shabby defending would continue but just as telling was their impotency in attack.
Vietnam spread the ball around the park with consummate ease but Brunei's midfield was the exact opposite, dwelling too long and failing to cope with Vietnam's harrying pressure.
Adi Said had a free-kick that was comfortably saved by Tran Buu Ngoc in the 17th minute before right-winger Than Luong switched the ball to Le Van Thang a minute later, a defence splitting pass which saw Van Thang dribble past his marker and unleash a curler which hit the right post and bounced in.
Adi would give Brunei something to cheer about when he dribbled past two players and shot wide of the right post in the 24th minute, but he seemed to lack the same hunger which characterised his brace during Brunei's 2-2 draw against Laos on Monday.
The goal of the game came on the half-hour mark through the influential Hoang Van Binh, a speculative half-volley from 30 yards which astoundingly caught Junaidi off guard.
Dayem had seen enough and took a risk by putting in first-choice goalkeeper Ak Omar Nur Aqammadin Pg Hj Sallehuddin.
When later asked why he didn't play Ak Omar Nur Aqammadin earlier, the coach said it was only at 4-0 down that he found out Junaidi had some "personal problems" which might have explained his dismal showing in between the sticks.
Though they had their chances, Vietnam were only able to make it 7-0 in the 58th minute when Le Hoang Thien smashed home a one-touch pass from Van Quyet inside the box.
Brunei were losing possession in their own half and on their rare forays forward, they lacked support which was probably a good thing considering Vietnam's effectiveness on the counter-attack.
Their eighth goal was the perfect example of how deadly they can be on the break, a one-time pass from Hoang Thien on the right guided home by Hoang Dinh Tung in the 73rd minute.
Striker Hamizan Aziz Sulaiman was shown his second yellow 10 minutes from time for a late tackle on right-back Duong Thanh Hao, and though it seemed to galvanise the team, a goal never looked like materialising.
Insisting the dominant display didn't mean his team were favourites to win the title come next Monday (Nov 21), Vietnam's coach Falko Gerd Gotz warns his players must take it one day at a time.
"We will try our best to play in this tournament and our task now is to beat Laos (on Thursday)," said Gotz.
A journalist at the post-match Press conference asked whether Brunei were too weak or Vietnam too strong, and the German's answer drew hoots of laughter all around.
"Perhaps a bit of both," he smiled.
Today's games see defending champions Malaysia face Cambodia and Indonesia meet Thailand in Group A at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, while the sole Group B match pits the Philippines against Myanmar in Group B.
Courtesy from Brunei Times