Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Brunei improve despite loss to Pakistan
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
A Brunei Darussalam player (R) controls a ball as a Pakistan player looks on. – FADHIL YUNUS

BRUNEI Darussalam’s national women hockey team produced a much improved performance at the 3rd Women’s Asian Hockey Challenge despite a 4-0 loss to Pakistan at the Hockey Stadium of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex yesterday.

Brunei remained at the bottom of the three-team pool after slipping to a second straight defeat while Pakistan collected their first points to strengthen their grip on top two.

The national team managed to shut their highly ranked opponents out in two quarters but it took individual brilliance from Pakistan’s Hamra who netted three goals in a space of 12 minutes to turn the game on its head.

Pakistan captain Ambreen Arshad completed the scoring after tucking away a low shot to the bottom corner through a penalty stroke in the 51st minute of the fourth quarter.

The host enjoyed attacking freedom and nearly fashioned a goal after Siti Muhammad Hamdan broke free and squared the ball into the shooting circle but unfortunately a teammate could not find the decisive touch to steer home with the Pakistan goalkeeper seemingly beaten.

Pakistan resumed their attacking threat with Un Nisa Zaib keen to add onto the scoring but her attempt was well defended by Brunei’s player Latifah Sawal.

Mayira Sabir of Pakistan displayed fast footwork lifting the ball with ease before combining with three-goal star Hamra though Brunei were able to keep out the danger.

Ishrat Abbas saw her long effort rolled wide while team-mate Ibra Sheikh saw a shot floated wide.

Pakistan were awarded a penalty stroke after Norassikin Abdul Salim was adjudged to have denied a scoring opportunity through an illegitimate move with Brunei’s goalkeeper beaten.

Ambreen made no mistake from seven yards finding the left side of the goal but she also spurned a golden opportunity to make it five after being left alone in the shooting circle and scuffed her shot wide.

Brunei Darussalam coach Fauzi Awang acknowledged the effort of the national team to bring the game to a superior opposition.

“As I expected, it was a good challenge for the team against Pakistan since Pakistan is a stronger team than them. But they did very well and challenged the Pakistan team until the end,” said Fauzi in a post-match interview.

“In the second quarter, I don’t know what happened but then they came back,” continued the coach.

The Stingers created at least four chances as they looked to score the elusive first goal of the tournament including winning a penalty corner.

“Nevertheless, they did very well and there was an improvement since the last game. It will be another tough game against Hong Kong and I just hope they focus more and try their best to challenge them and minimise the deficit of the goals,” added the coach.

He also expressed hopes of achieving their target to score against Hong Kong in their next match today.

Meanwhile, Fauzi’s opposite number Pakistan coach Muhammad Khan still felt that his side were not at their optimum despite a comfortable win against the tournament host.

The head coach added that they are still below 70 per cent of their true potential pointing out to the difficulty to adjust to weather conditions which may have had an effect on their performance.

He admitted that Brunei have not had many exposure games but provided encouragement for the host after making a decent effort in challenging his more experienced side.

“They played well especially the defender on the right side but our team haven’t played up to 70 per cent I would rather say.”

“They used to play very good but maybe it’s the humidity. But anyway we will try our best and maybe a practise match will help us to acclimatise with the weather,” he continued.

Pakistan have been more exposed to international competitions than Brunei having competed in the Asia Cup in Thailand where they reached the semi-finals for the first time in four years.

Brunei will play a Hong Kong side looking to record a third successive win in the tournament today.

Courtesy from Borneo Bulletin