National futsal coach Hj Md Yunos Hj Md Yusof when met during yesterday's interview. Picture: BT/ Waqiuddin Rajak and Courtesy of Hj Md Yunos
National futsal team in a pre-game shot before one of their matches at the Oct 19-27 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Futsal Championships in Bangkok, Thailand. Picture: BT/ Waqiuddin Rajak and Courtesy of Hj Md Yunos
Hj Md Yunos Hj Md Yusof feels that the national futsal team could have done better at the recent ASEAN Federation Futsal (AFF) Championships had they been more deadly in front of goal.
The team lost all four of their matches at the regional meet in Bangkok earlier this month, starting with a 5-3 loss to the Philippines followed by a 8-4 defeat to Malaysia.
They went on to lose 8-1 to hosts and defending champions Thailand and ended their campaign with a 4-2 loss to Vietnam - though they did not go down without a fight at the Oct 19-27 competition.
According to the team's head coach Hj Md Yunos, it was the first time the team faced off against international opponents and there are certain issues that need to be looked at.
"We had 26 chances against the Philippines but we only scored three," said Hj Md Yunos yesterday.
"Our opponents had nine chances but they scored five.
"So I think what the team lacked is the finishing to put our scoring chances to good use," he added.
Addressing the problem, the head coach also stressed that the team would improve a lot if they were given a chance to practice against international teams.
"Since this is the first time the team faced off against international opponents, I think they lack experience," said the former national goalkeeper.
"However, they have displayed good adaptability towards different situations during the matches," he added.
Although the team finished at the bottom of their group, their relentless struggle should be appreciated.
From game-to-game, it was obvious that the team played well in terms of defense as they only lost 8-1 to Thailand - compared to the Philippines who lost 20-1 against Thailand and 10-1 against Vietnam.
Moreover, the previous tournament saw the team allow 43 goals - they only allowed 25 this time.
"Our defence is something to be proud of," Hj Md Yunos noted.
"All of the competing teams were well-prepared. They had the experience, were physically well-built and their skills were well-honed.
"Our team's players were well-prepared in terms of fitness and they were sharp in terms of their speed when they reverted back to their defensive positions after counter-attacks," he added.
According to Hj Md Yunos, a post-mortem will be conducted by the coaches and the management to decide on the kind of training best suited to be undergone by the team.
The training is also aimed at strengthening the team further and preparing them for future regional and international tournaments.
"We hope that the national team will be able to represent Brunei at the upcoming SEA Games which will be held in Myanmar," said Hj Md Yunos.
"I think with the experience they have gained, the team is ready to participate in the SEA Games and produce miracles for Brunei," said Hj Md Yunos.
Thailand, who have won the tourament every year since its inception in 2001, look poised to defend their title in today's final against Australia.
The Thais easied past Indonesia 10-4 in Friday's semi-final while Australia moved into the championship decider after blowing by Vietnam 6-1 in their last-four encounter.
Brunei's best performance at the tournament was in the 2005 and 2008 editions which were also held in Thailand. Brunei progressed to the semi-finals in both instances but lost out on bronze to Indonesia in 2005 and Malaysia in 2008.