Bandar Seri Begawan - Cao Xuan Thang shattered Brunei Darussalam's hope of collecting a point at the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy for Asean Youth Football Tournament when he netted Vietnam's winning goal in injury time due to the lack of concentration of the Sultanate's players.
His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office was present to watch the match. Also present were HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the Honorary President of the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) and HRH Prince 'Abdul Malek.
The match looked set to end with a draw but Vietnam were awarded a corner kick by Philippines referee Jovanie Villagracia.
The unmarked Thang ran to the Brunei's defence territory and unleashed the winning goal with a glancing header in the 92nd minute for a deservedly 2-1 win at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.
"Congratulations to my players! The way they play tonight is really convincing," said Vietnam's assistant coach Pharn Nhu Thuan after the match.
"Although they are inexperienced, which most of my players are under-19 years of age and first time playing in a big and nice stadium, they have shown a great spirit especially in the second half of the game."
The assistant coach added: "I am really confident that we will make it to the semifinal if we continue to display the same winning mentality."
Meanwhile, Brunei' team manager Hj Feisal Hj Eussof expressed his disappointment with the referee after failing to punish the opponent's player for an unnecessary challenge to his player.
"To me, the referee judgment is really bad," said the manager reflecting to the loss of his influential midfield player Md Hendra Azam Md Idris to a serious injury in the early minutes of the first half
"He (Hamizan) is really an important player to our team who has vast experience. Hopefully he can recover before our next match against Malaysia," Hj Feisal added
When asked about Brunei conceding a last minute goal, the manager commented: "The players lost their mark and concentration. Hopefully this will not happen again."
The manager, on the other hand, would like to express his gratitude to the Brunei's supporters for coming and supporting the young players.
Brunei started the game brightly and was one goal ahead in the 3rd minute through Adi Said's powerful header.
Phan Dinh Thang leveled the scoreline in the 52nd minute before Vietnam's hero Thang scored the winning goal to make it 2-1.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin