The national under-18 football team are left to play for seventh place after losing 1-0 to Vietnam in their Group B match of the 41st Asian Schools Football Championships yesterday.
Brunei were down to 10 men after Md Nizamuddin Hj Ismail was shown a straight red card in the 64th minute after allegedly punching an opponent at the Mae Fah Luang University in Thailand.
Vietnam would take advantage immediately as they netted three minutes later following a through ball into the box which proved to be the winner.
National coach Tajul Ariffin Sumpong felt that the sending off was unjust but was left helpless at the sidelines.
"The referee told us that he (Md Nizamuddin) had punched one of the Vietnamese players. I have checked with him and he said that he didn't do it," said Tajul in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
"The referee said that was what he saw. The players just knocked each other while running but there was nothing we could do after the decision was made.
"The players lost their focus after the incident which allowed Vietnam to score. We actually had good chances in the first half but failed to convert yet against due to our poor finishing," he added.
"But overall, we were equally matched and I'm still satisfied with the players as they have tried their best to get the win.
"The players worked hard on defence but it is just that we lack the finishing," continued Tajul.
The Sultanate finished fourth in the group and will be up against Hong Kong in the seventh place playoff tomorrow.
Whether they win or lose, the Sultanate have bettered their outing at the previous edition last year in Iran. Brunei had started out their campaign with a 2-0 loss to China on Friday.
They then got into the win column after edging Macau 2-1 on Saturday with the duo of Ak Md Shobri Pg Ibrahim and Md Syahmi Rashid getting on the scoresheet.
The Sultanate were then brought back down to earth 5-0 by South Korea the next day.