Indera SC and Yangon United players greet each other during a group photo. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS
BY Fadhil Yunus
Indera SC head coach Ameer Aziz-Hakim Haji Abdul Lani has labelled their much-anticipated match against Yangon United in the first leg of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup play-off round at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium tonight as a historical moment for Brunei Darussalam in the context of football.
Two-time Brunei Super League champions Indera SC, who finished fourth in the league last season, will be making their debut in the continental competition.
“We will be giving our very best. This is a historical moment for Brunei football as well as Indera SC. This is our first time participating in the AFC Cup,” the head coach said in a pre-match post conference at the Lecture Theatre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Tuesday.
“I expect nothing less than 100 per cent from my players on the field as well as my management team.” The head coach also called for the supporters to rally behind the country’s hope as they seek to make an instant impression in Asia’s second tier competition. “Hopefully, we can get the fans to come around and be our 12th man supporting us in tomorrow’s game.”
“In terms of our preparations, we trained quite rigorously. Of course we’ve done our due diligence in terms of tactics as well as physically and technically but more importantly we need to consider the mental preparation for the players as well as the management team.”
He continued, “We worked really hard and I demanded a lot from the players.”
Asked whether home advantage will work in their favour, he responded, “It is a 90-minute game and anything can happen. But of course with home advantage, there is an additional boost to the players.”
“It will be the same to Yangon United when they go back to Myanmar. I expect their home crowd to be supporting them and they will have that extra boost.
“It really depends how you perceive it but I believe with any home game, there is always an added advantage to the home team without a doubt.”
Meanwhile, Yangon United head coach Tin Maung Tun said that they will not underestimate their inexperienced opponents, who will certainly head into the match as underdogs.
The Myanmar-based outfit will be without the services of an import player due to suspension but the head coach indicated that they will not be overly concerned with his absence.
Yangon United, who won five league titles, currently sit at the top of the Myanmar National League having stayed perfect with two wins in their opening two games of the season.
-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin