Absent players add to Brunei Darussalam's challenge
Bandar Seri Begawan: Brunei Darussalam will be without nine players from clubside DPMM FC for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1 clash against Mongolia on Thursday.
The nine players not part of the 23-member squad for the Asian Qualifiers are Abdul Mu’iz Sisa, Fakharazzi Hassan, Azwan Salleh, Azwan Ali Rahman, Hendra Idris, Azizi Ali Rahman, Najib Tarif, Shafie Effendy and Nurikhwan Othman.
Head coach Robbie Servais said he had planned on building the squad around the players from DPMM, who play in the Singapore Premier League and currently top the standings.
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“It has a big impact on my plans. The plan was to build around the nine players. There is nothing I can do, I forget about it, look what I have and work with the players that I have,” said Servais to local media.
The recently-appointed Dutchman said the training stint in Xianghe, China PR has gone well, which saw Brunei Darussalam hold Beijing Sport University to a draw.
“We have a very good game against a second division Chinese team, a team that is stronger but we followed the plans. We managed to keep a clean sheet and created better chances than the opponents,” the former Singapore Under-19 head coach said.
Servais has tagged Mongolia as favourites as not only will the first leg be played in Ulaanbaatar but the East Asians will have their best players available.
“I have seen some footage of them, they look a little bit stronger than us but we have a plan and if we stick to the plan, we also have a chance against Mongolia.”
The Wasps will play the second leg at home at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on June 11.
Photos: National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam, Mongolia Football Federation
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