NFABD Under-15's Mohd Afif
Hadi Roshidi (2nd R)
controls the ball while
Myanmar Mandalay's Min Thu
(R) looks during their
Football Association of
Under-15 ASEAN Champions
Trophy match in June.
Picture: BT file
The National Football of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) Under-15 team will close their poor Football Association of Malaysia (FAM)-Frenz Under-15 ASEAN Champions Trophy campaign against Lao Toyota Academy today.
Yet to notch a victory in nine games, the side are currently at the bottom of the six-team Group B table.
With only a point to their name after eight defeats and one draw, they have long been out of contention for a place in the semi-final.
Not only are they basement dwellers in their group, they are also the team with the worst record in the tournament with Group A counterparts Cambodia on two points.
Liew Chuan Fue, though, refuses to listen to the critics.
"People can say whatever they want regarding the team, they always want changes. But changes are not necessarily good," said the team's coach.
"There are always reasons to it (inability to win). We are fully aware of that and look forward to improve.
"I believe that we have the best age-group football players in the country and they have improved a lot over these past few months.
"I hope that we will be able to keep these players together as a team.
"With the experience that they obtained from this tournament, they will become a better team in future competitions," added the former national skipper ahead of today's match at the National University of Lao Football Stadium in Vientiane, Laos.
Lao beat the national side 2-0 in their first encounter on June 25 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas after netting either side of half-time.
The visitors took the lead six minutes before the break when midfielder Laithaya Sisongkham volleyed the ball past goalkeeper Muhd Ishyra Asmin Mohd Jabidi from a tight angle.
Lao's second goal came in the 67th minute when Hatsady Keoheuangsy's through ball from the right wing found Sinthanong Phanvongsa, who had the easy task of lobbing the ball past Muhd Ishra.
"Laos are a very good team. The players are technically good, and they are very quick too," noted Liew.
"It will be a very good and interesting match for us.
"We will go out like how we did in our first game of the tournament.
"We always try our best and have tried to win each game in the tournament (and) we are very unfortunate not to have done that yet," added the 1999 Malaysia Cup winner.
The team's last game was their 6-0 defeat to Frenz Indonesia at the Janda Baik Stadium in Pahang, Malaysia on July 14.
It was their eighth defeat in the tournament, with their sole point coming when they drew 2-2 with Myanmar Mandalay.
First-placed Frenz Indonesia and second-placed Frenz Malaysia B have already qualified for the semi-finals after recording 26 points and 17 points respectively.
Thailand Chonburi Academy have also qualified for the next round from Group A. Frenz Malaysia A and Vietnam PVF Academy will battle it out for the final spot in Group A.