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October 13, 2012 7:30 PM SGT

Brunei 2-1 Timor Leste: ‘O Sol Nascente’ let slip golden chance to qualify

Timor Leste fail to get the required one point to ensure qualification to the tournament proper with a surprise defeat to Brunei

By Prem Kumar

Brunei vs. Timor Leste - AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 Qualifiers
Goal.com/Cesare Polenghi
Despite needing only a draw to qualify to the final stage of the AFF Suzuki Cup next month, Timor Leste missed the boat with a 2-1 loss to Brunei at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon.

With the defeat, the former Portuguese colony only managed to collect six points, to finish third behind Laos, whose earlier draw with hosts Myanmar proved to be just the result they needed to get through.

The Timorese started well – dominating the early exchanges and nearly took the lead in the 14th minute through Diogo Rangel’s shot but his effort was deflected away for a corner.

A minute later, Brunei took the lead through a counter attack that ended with Adi Said striking the ball low into the bottom left corner.

Timor Leste did not panic and continued to move the ball well in their effort to get back into the game, but were repeatedly let down by their failure to get the final ball right.

The first 20 minutes of the second half saw Paulo Helber try his luck with two long range efforts but the Dili United midfielder failed to get his bearings right on both occasions.

Alan Leandro was next to make an attempt but Mohd Fakhrul Zulhazmi did well to save his powerful shot in the 70th minute.

Brunei almost doubled their lead three minutes later when Azwan Ali Rahman managed to beat the offside trap – before blazing the ball over the bar.

The 20-year-old forward made amends for the miss almost immediately – re-acting the fastest to push the ball from Emerson’s spill over the line to make it 2-0 three minutes after.

Although Timor Leste managed to pull a goal back through substitute Chiquito Filipe do Carmo with eleven minutes to go, it proved too little too late for them as the equaliser never came until the final whistle.

Group A Matchday 1
Times In SGT
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Teerasil Dangda Teerasil Dangda
Muangthong United
8 0
Shahril Ishak Shahril Ishak
4 0
Khampheng Sayavutthi Khampheng Sayavutthi
3 2
Khairul Amri Khairul Amri
3 0
Kirati Keawsombut Kirati Keawsombut
PTT Rayong
3 0