Macau to play Nepal in Solidarity Cup final

Macau booked their place in the final of the inaugural Solidarity Cup following a tense penalty shootout win over Brunei on Saturday.

The Wasps of Brunei struck first before Macau levelled matters in the second half. A red card seemed to turn the game to Macau’s favour but Brunei hung on to force extra time.

After a riveting period, both teams failed to score and the tie went to penalties, where The Greens never missed.

It was Macau that enjoyed the better start in cagey opening stanza. They gave Brunei a scare in the 23rd minute when Kong Cheng Hou sent a cross into the danger area, but Leong Ka Hang’s header would sail over the crossbar.

But Brunei absorbed the pressure and bounced back to score the first goal of the match. Shahrazen Said showed brilliant speed to get through the Macau defence and get into a one-on-one situation with goalkeeper Ho Man Fai, who did not stand a chance.

Leicester City winger Faiq Bolkiah had a chance to double the lead just to minutes later, but his shot went over the bar.

A goal behind and looking to force the issue, Macau brought on tournament top scorer Nicholas Torrao and he almost immediately had an effect.

The South African-born striker was in a position to shoot when he was fouled by Brunei stopper Wardun Yussof, who referee Kim Woo-Sung sent off with a straight red card.

In the resulting free kick, Leong’s shot would take a nasty deflection, sending replacement goalkeeper Tarmizi Johari the wrong way and levelling matters for Macau in the 58th minute.

The Greens nearly stole the game at the death, but Azwan Saleh’s curling free kick crashed into the crossbar.

Despite having the extra man, Macau failed to dominate in extra time, with Brunei creating the most clear cut chance of the period. Bolkiah was on course for a spectacular solo goal in the dying embers of the match as he ran half the field only for his shot to come off the top of crossbar.

That allowed Macau’s Ho to be the hero of the night, as he would go on to save two penalties from Rosmin Kamis and Maududi Kasmi to help his team into the final, which kicks off on Tuesday.

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