BY Fadhil Yunus
Brunei Darussalam’s national youth football team have made four appearances in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-19 Championship, according to The Asean Football recently.
The young Wasps featured in a major tournament at continental level in 1970, 1972, 1974 and 1975 alongside some of the biggest names in Asia.
Brunei made their debut in Manila, the Philippines in 1970 where they were drawn against Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand in Group ‘A’.
Although they left the tournament empty-handed without a point, they showed a spirited display in a 3-0 loss against traditional Asian powerhouse South Korea. Brunei also registered their first-ever goal in the competition during the 6-1 defeat to Hong Kong.
The national youth team made a second appearance two years later in Bangkok, Thailand where they met Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore in the group stages before adding consecutive appearances in the AFC meet in Bangkok in 1974 and Kuwait in 1975.
In 1974, they were drawn against hosts Thailand and Japan and ended the tournament with a solitary goal during a 7-1 defeat to the young Samurai Blue.
The young Wasps made their fourth appearance since the inception of the tournament a year later where they faced Iran, Iraq and Indonesia in Group ‘A’.
With Iran and Iraq justifying their tags as group favourites having safely qualified for the knockout phase, they played against already-eliminated Indonesia in the hopes of restoring pride.
Brunei were edged 2-1 by their Southeast Asian neighbours with one strike ensuring their third goal in their history in the competition.
The national under-19 team attempted to qualify for the latest instalment of the competition when they competed in the 2020 AFC Under-19 qualifiers last November in Cambodia, who were designated as group hosts.
Brunei enjoyed a winning start against Northern Mariana Islands in a 4-3 victory at the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh. They concluded their campaign with a 3-0 loss to Cambodia, who advanced to the tournament proper in Uzbekistan this October.
Based on information provided by The ASEAN Football, Myanmar were the most successful ASEAN team in the competition with seven titles followed by Thailand with two and Indonesia with one.
The ASEAN Football compiles information and statistics concerning ASEAN-related teams and footballers as well as results from across the domestic leagues and competitions in Southeast Asia.
-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin