National under-19 football
coach Dayem Hj Ali
The failure to execute the game plan saw the national under-19 football team finish without a point in their campaign at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-19 Championship qualifiers in Thailand.
They slipped to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Singapore last night in their last Group H match at the Thai-Japanese Stadium.
Brunei were in unfamiliar territory having taken the lead through defender Mohammad Asri Hj Aspar in the 63rd minute off counterattack. It was the first time in eight tries that the Sultanate took the lead stretching back to the ASEAN Football Federation Under-19 Championship 2013 in Indonesia last month.
They, however, self destructed in the last 15 minutes conceding three goals before the final whistle. Brandon Koh Kim Leong equalised for SIngapore in the 76th minute before they got the lead through Jonathan Tan Zen Yang before Koh in the 83rd minute.
Koh notched his brace three minutes later to kill off the match for the Bruneians.
National under-19 football coach Dayem Hj Ali was disappointed to not have at least taken a point out of the game but was satisfied with the team overall.
"Actually we played well and followed our game plan for 70 minutes only. After that we lost concentration and didn't play the way we wanted," said Dayem in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
I personally know what our strengths and weaknesses are. That's why we played to the shape whereby whenever we lose possession, we will get back in our defensive line.
"We did it tonight (Saturday night) from the opening whistle till halftime. That's why we didn't concede any in the first half. "We tried another plan after the break and we managed to score the first goal off a counterattack.
"We changed the plan after that but the players failed to follow and thought that we could score more goals. It opened up the back and Singapore took their chances to score.
"The players did their own thing after that and tried to attack but forgot to defend their area and left it open," he said. "It is very sad and painful to accept the goals. Had we played according to the plan then we could have drawn or even won the game. That would have given us pride. But we made mistakes and we were punished
"Nonetheless, there is some improvement after our last tournament especially with strategy and discipline. There was better teamwork as well," concluded Dayem.
North Korea won the group after beating the hosts 2-1 in the earlier game.
Brunei had opened their campaign with a 6-0 loss to North Korea before getting thrashed by Thailand 7-0 two days later.