26 years is a long time and Brunei Darussalam certainly made it worth the wait when they made the cut to the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 in front of their own cheering fans.

While they may have lost the second leg Qualification Rounds 1-0 to Timor Leste this afternoon at the Track and Field Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex, their big win over the same side a few days earlier in the first leg ensured their passage on a 6-3 aggregate.

The last time Brunei DS played in the blue riband event was way back in the inaugural edition in 1996.

“We deserved to be in the group stage of the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022. We defended well today and we stick to the gameplan that has been set,” said Brunei DS captain Hendra Azam.

With a four-goal deficit from the first leg, it was always going to be a mountain to climb for Timor Leste against a Brunei DS side that only needs to sit back and protect the advantage they had carved.

And it was no surprise that Timor Leste were up against a defensive-minded home team as the latter held their opponents out for long periods in the game.

Chances were few with the first real opportunity coming right after the half-hour mark with a bursting run from Jhon Oliveira that was thwarted by the onrushing Brunei DS custodian Haimie Abdullah Nyaring.

Several misses later and the hard work from Joao Pedro Freitas down the flanks paid dividends just before the break when his cross found captain Mouzinho De Lima to finish from close.

The several substitutions into the second half gave Brunei some pace to the frontline but neither Abdul Azizi Ali Rahman nor Adi Said could make much headway.

Timor Leste would then end the tie with a superb effort from Mario Requis Dias then went off the crossbar as they handed the winning ticket to Brunei DS to compete in the Final Rounds this year.

The Sultanate side completed the line-up in Group A of the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 where they are up against defending champions Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Cambodia.

“We accept the loss in this qualifying round but really, we had already lost this game from the first leg,” said Timor Leste captain Mouzinho.





8 November 2022

Timor Leste 1 (3) Brunei DS 0 (6)







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