BRUNEI BOW OUT OF CONTENTION
PETALING JAYA (Sept 4, 2001) – After three days of watching from the sidelines, Vietnam were dying to get into action. And it showed when they were unleashed against Brunei at the MPPJ Stadium tonight.
The Vietnam players were hungry for a win and also for the goals. They were constantly on the attack and started reeling in the goals after only 10 minutes. Vietnam would have bagged more goals had it not been for some poor finishing from the strikers.
To Duc Cuong scored twice while Thach Bao Khanh, Nguyen Quoc Trung and Nguyen Minh Nghia netted the other goals.
Brunei would have suffered a heavier defeat had it not been for the goalkeeper, Mohd Wardun Yussof, who pulled off numerous saves tonight. But he could only do so much to stop the marauding Vietnamese forwards.
The defeat also meant that Brunei’s hopes of making the semifinals are all but over. With one more match left for Brunei, there is no chance for them to make the cut.
In tonight’s match, Vietnam did not need any time to settle down and shot into attack from the moment referee Rungklay Mongkol blew the whistle.
After the first few minutes, Brunei keeper Mohd Wardun Yussof was already tested and in the 10th minute, the inevitable happened. Striker Thach Bao Khanh weaved past three defenders and hammered the ball in.
The goal fired up the Vietnam players and they pushed up in numbers in search of more goals. Two minutes after the opening goal, Nguyen Huu Thang raced in but watched with dismay as his shot hit the upright.
The speedy To Duc Cuong had his chance in the 22nd minute. After forcing his way into the box and with only the keeper standing in front him, blasted directly at the custodian.
Against the run of play, Brunei launched a move forward and ended up stunning the Vietnamese in the 25th minute. Jasriman Johari picked up a loose ball at the top of the box, turned and fired a dipping shot over the Vietnam keeper.
The Vietnam strikers continued to attack in waves with Nguyen Minh Nghia, Duc Cuong, Nguyen Minh Phuong and Bao Khanh constantly taking shots at goal.
To the credit of the Brunei goalkeeper and his defenders, they did very well to clear any attempts that went their way. But in the last minute of the first half, none could stop Duc Cuong from claiming the second Vietnam goal of the night.
Vietnam continued from where they left off in the first half and added a third through Duc Cuong, who slipped past his markers to score in the 52nd minute. It was his second of the night.
Nguyen Minh Nghia and Nguyen Quoc Trung scored two more to make it 5-1 for Vietnam.