Timor Leste a step closer to reaching AFF Suzuki Cup

Nicolas Anil Nicolas Anil

Timor-Leste look good to qualify to the AFF Suzuki Cup in November after Henrique Wilson scored a brace against Brunei for a 3-1 lead in the first-leg of the qualifier at Cheras Stadium on Saturday.

Both teams came into this match gunning to make only their second appearance at the regional showcase.

It was Timor Leste who started strongly, with Rufino Walter coming close early on with a shot that just cleared the bar.

The island nation made their dominance count after the half hour mark when Wilson struck to put them ahead 1-0.

Brunei barely had time to recover from the opener as Wilson punished them in the 35th minute through a close range finish.

Timor Leste were comfortable going into the break, but Brunei emerged a spirited side in the second half.

Adi Said was tasked to assert more authority as the forward, with substitute Azwan Ali Rahman and Shah Razen Said entrusted to push forward and help him in every attack.

The team in white eventually forced their way back into the game through Azwan’s grounder from close range, midway through the second half.

There was still plenty of time for an equaliser and Najib Haji Tarif had a shot deflected just wide.

Brunei continued to keep possession, but they were kept at bay by a disciplined Timor-Leste back four.

Timor Leste were content on hitting their opponents on the counter-attack, and Silveiro Da Resureicao almost found himself with only the goalkeeper to beat.

But Silveiro would get his goal in injury time, the striker left with the simplest task of slotting into the empty net after the goalkeeper had rushed off his line.

The game finished 3-1 to Timor Leste, who look favourites to go through to the tournament proper after taking a healthy lead in this first-leg.

The return-leg will be played at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Bandar Seri Begawan on September 8.

The winners of this tie would go into Group B which consists of defending champions Thailand, Indonesia, Phillipines and Singapore.

Timor-Leste: Aderito Raul Fernandes (GK), Candido Monteiro, Jorge Sabas Victor (C), Rufino Walter Gama, Joao Pedro Da Silva, Henrique Wilson, Gelvanio Angelo, Gumario Augusto, Paulo Domingos, Filomena Junior, Nelson Sarmento

Brunei DS: Haimie Anak Nyaring (GK), Muhammad Nurikhwan Othman, Mohammad Najib Haji Tarif (C), Hazwan Hamzah, Mohammad Helmi Zambin, Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir, Hafie Haji Effendy, Adi Said, Khairil Shahme, Shah Razen Said, Ak Yuka Indera Putera