The Third Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy

Brunei 2 Cambodia 2 was the final score last night. Brunei could have gone 3-0 up in the first 25 minutes but the missed penalty was a chance that we rued. Brunei's second goal by no.10 Mohd Najib probably was one of the best I have ever seen at the stadium. He was easily the man of the match. But the lethal combination of Cambodia's no.8, 9 and 10 is probably something that the Brunei defence had no chance against.

The game was exciting unlike the lopsided Myanmar thrashing of Philippines 9-1 earlier in the afternoon. Brunei and Cambodia each had a goal disallowed and Cambodia could easily have won had they been able to scramble the ball over the goal line but if it wasn't for the quick reaction of Brunei's keeper, we could easily have gotten no points instead of one. So 2-2 was a fair result.

What am I talking about? It was last night's football match between Brunei's Under-21 versus Cambodia's Under-21 in the third Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy for ASEAN Football Youth Championships. This was first launched in 2002 which was won by Indonesia and the second in 2005 won by Thailand. This event is to support His Majesty's efforts to get the best youth teams in the ASEAN region to compete in a football championship. In a 1997 speech, he stated that "...I observe that sports can reach out to people in all walks of life. Of all spectator sports, soccer has the greatest following in Southeast Asia. Having an ASEAN or Southeast Asian soccer league will deepen the awareness of ordinary people of ASEAN countries..."

After watching the Brunei Youths in action, I am raring to go again which is very unusual. I am not a football fanatic but there is something exciting about watching your home team play. So, go already. Go to the stadium or the Berakas Sports Complex, if you prefer a smaller venue - you have at least two games a day until the 8th, and the semifinals on 10th and the final on 12th. For the Brunei team - we play against the Philippines tomorrow and then against Myanmar on Wednesday. We have a strong chance against the Philippines and we need all the support we can get in the match against Myanmar. Who knows? We might even reach the final. Ole Ole Brunei!


Anonymous said…
Yes, good display by the youngsters. But after this will all the players be left out? will we be thinking about the next sea games which what really matters? Will we produce the next crop of youngsters for the future? How? You decide...
Anonymous said…
Too bad I missed last night's game. But boy was I exalted to have supported DPMM FC during their last home game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium!

Shahzaren is one of the most promising young players that our 'soccer-crazy' nation has ever produced in a hundred years, I dare say! And it was my first time to have watched him play, too. I bet he will catch the attention of world-class football clubs' talent scouts, including the English Premier League teams, if he could keep up his prolific scoring prowess and brilliant skills!

However, if Shahrazen were to be deprived of the opportunity to represent Brunei Darussalam at the SEA Games or the Asian Games or even the Olympics, for that matter, that would be the biggest shame in the sporting history of our beloved country. BRUNEI YAKIN!

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