Al-Idrus Junior posing for a
group photo before their
Association of Brunei
Darussalam (NFABD) TelBru
Youth Under-16 National
Football League final against
Muara Vella Academy at the
Hassanal Bolkiah National
Stadium in Berakas on July 3.
Picture:BT/ Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
When it comes to football, there have been many instances where the underdogs have pulled off upsets and it is always worth watching out for a team that can pull off a shock.
The underdogs in the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) TelBru Youth Under-16 National Football League, Al-Idrus Junior defied the odds when they defeated Muara Vella Academy 3-2 to win the inaugural tournament.
"When you play against the favourite team in the final and win, it is always going to be a very special occasion," said Al-Idrus's manager Mansor Hj Yassin.
"We were only formed last year... It was unbelievable that we made it all the way to the final and won.
"Even before the final, I made it clear that my team were the underdogs," added the manager in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday, ten days after his team made their dream come true by winning the inaugural tournament.
When Al-Idrus lined up against Muara Vella at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on July 3, there could not have been two more contrasting teams.
The likes of Ak Abdul Hafiz Pg Zahari, Mohd Asnawi Syazni Abd Aziz, Md Abd Mateen Said, Haimie Nyaring and Abdul Khair Hj Basri who have laced up for the country in regional tournaments were always going to give Muara Vella the upper hand over their opponents.
Though Al-Idrus Junior were only established last year, some of their players had played together in the past.
"We were only formed last year but some of the players have been playing together in the Royal Brunei Recreation Club (RBRC) football scheme since 2009," said Mansor.
"Both teams gave their all in the game, and it was a very interesting match with players from both teams at top fitness.
"It was a very tough game and Muara Vella controlled the first half (but) we fought back in the second half and won the game in extra-time.
"Mohd Asri Hj Aspar scored the winning goal, and for me, he was the man of the match that night.
"I would like to thank the management, all the players and their families for all their support throughout the tournament," added the manager.
Both teams confirmed their berth in the second round after winning all of their matches in their respective groups.
Al-Idrus Junior started their campaign with a 4-1 victory over Belait A followed by an 8-0 thrashing of Temburong.
They defeated Tutong District Football Association 3-0 before ending their group stage campaign with a 4-0 win over the Brunei Darussalam Schools' Sports Council (MSSSBD).
Meanwhile, Muara Vella kicked off the competition with a 1-0 win over MSSSBD and made easy work of Bamit FC 7-0 in their second match.
They then crushed FC Phosphor 6-0 and finished their group stage action with a 11-2 demolition of Belait B.