His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah in action. PHOTOS: INFOFOTO
BY Fadhil Yunus
Brunei Darussalam polo team has a historic gold within their sights after a 5-4 win over the Philippines catapulted them to the final of the 0-2 low goal event in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at the Miguel Romero Polo Field in Calatagan, Batangas on Sunday.
His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council were in attendance to watch the match.
His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah led the team to a 5-4 victory against the Philippines in a match which lasted more than an hour.
Her Royal Highness Princess ‘Azemah Ni’matul Bolkiah and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda Bahar were also present.
Having recorded a win and a loss in the opening two games, Brunei looked to close out the qualifying league with a win against a Philippines’ outfit that were yet to register a victory.
A fiercely-contested encounter saw His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah write his name on the score-sheet as he contributed with a goal in the second chukka.
The complexion of the tie in the first chukka was firmly on the balance as both sides cancelled each other out with Huzaimi bin Haji Mahari the scorer for Brunei.
Brunei, who plundered eight goals against Indonesia to underline their intent for gold, raced into a lead through Huzaimi in the end of third chukka with the Philippines drawing a blank.
However, the fourth chukka was undoubtedly the best spell of the game with four goals summing up a high-scoring affair. Brunei’s Muhamad Farid Abdullah extended the lead to 4-2 before the Philippines were handed a lifeline with a goal back.
Muhamad Farid struck again before the Philippines set up an exciting finish with a goal in the final 49 seconds of the contest.
Brunei will play in the gold medal match against Malaysia today. Indonesia, beaten 7-2 by Malaysia in the other game, will contest the bronze medal match with the Philippines.
The Brunei team that featured in the 4-6 high goal event bagged bronze at the start of the polo competition.
-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin