Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
So close, yet so far for Brunei
Monday, October 15, 2012

Honorary President of the
National Football Association of
Brunei Darussalam HRH Prince Hj
Sufri Bolkiah (3rd R standing)
attending a dinner hosted by the
Myanmar Minister for Ministry of
Sport U Tint Hsan (C standing) in
Yangon last Friday.Picture:
Courtesy of Brunei Embassy
of Myanmar

It was a bitter sweet feeling for national football coach Kwon Oh-son in their AFF (ASEAN Football Federation) Suzuki Cup 2012 Qualifiers campaign in Yangon.

The Wasps finished with six points from two wins and two losses. They opened up with a 1-0 loss to Myanmar despite a performance that was beyond expectations last Friday.

They bounced back with a 3-2 victory over Cambodia after a strong second half on Tuesday and followed that with a disappointing 3-1 controversial loss to Laos on Thursday.

Despite being out of the running to qualify for the tournament proper to be held from Nov 24 - Dec 22, the Sultanate put in a convincing performance to stun Timor Leste 2-1 in their final match on Saturday.

Kwon couldn't have asked for more from his players who only had a short training stint and limited experience playing together.

"The team kept their heads high and did their best with a never give up attitude. We are the national team and we wanted to make sure we play quality football all the time for everyone back home," said Kwon in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.

"We are glad to have the inclusion of the DPMM FC players in the squad because the younger players can learn from the pros," he added.

"The team showed good confidence throughout the competition and have followed all the instructions from the coaching staff. We are very happy with that," continued the South Korean.

Despite voicing satisfaction with the performance from his team, the national coach still dwells on the loss to Laos which killed off their chances on advancing to the tournament proper.

He hopes that future developments in officiating can help provide fairer assessment for the Qualifiers.

Contrary to a previous report in The Brunei Times, the referees and referee assistants for the tournament were all from Asia and not Asean.

"I watched the replay many times and if the referee makes one mistake I can understand. But he did so more than once and it killed our chances on advancing to the next round. Hopefully there will be better quality referees in the region," said Kwon.

Team manager Hj Feisal Hj Eusoff, meanwhile, is proud of the players and salutes them for their high spirits for the good showing.

"They have done really well and we want to continue to stay together. We should be able to produce something in the next three years. We have got good coaching staff and we want to continue with the development of the players," said Hj Feisal.

"We are pleased to have the inclusion of the DPMM FC players and we would like to thank their management for that despite having time constraints to train together,"he added.

"We would also like to thank His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah (Honorary President of NFABD) for attending our first game and giving us the motivation and support," he continued.

The team manager also went on to thank the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports for their support.

Hj Feisal also expressd his wish for Brunei to put in a bid to host the next AFF Suzuki Cup Qualifiers in 2014.

Myanmar ended the tournament at the top of the five-team table and will be in Group A with Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Laos are the runners-up and will be placed in Group B with Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

Courtesy from Brunei Times