Philippine U15 Boys Football team crushes Brunei side 4-0

JB Borlongan. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.

The home side blitzed the visitors with an offensive barrage early on, then cruised the rest of the way for victory.

The Philippines defeated Brunei side NFABD U15 for the second time in eight days, upping their record to 2-4 in the Football Association of Malaysia- Frenz ASEAN Champions Trophy.

JB Borlongan from Cagayan de Oro scored twice, while Sebastian Patangan showed his quality in the midfield with two assists.

The tournament, sponsored by Frenz United, a Malaysian Football academy, is a home-and-away double round-robin competition featuring youth clubs from the ASEAN region. The Philippines was alowed to enter its national team instead of a club team.

Like the most recent home game by the U15s, the Philippines did not take long to strike.

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Barely three minutes into the game the Philippines were ahead. After the Brunei keeper failed to control a ball in his area, a Pinoy player redirected the ball to Borlongan, who was unmarked in the center of the box. He turned and shot from close range for the opener.

In the sixteenth minute Borlongan got his double with a fierce strike that keeper Ishrya Asmin was helpless to stop. Patangan supplied the ball from the right side.

Patangan. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.

Just four minutes later Patangan showed his impressive range with an inch-perfect long-range through ball that Major Dean Ebarle latched on to and converted into a goal.

A dazed Brunei team surrendered a fourth goal at the half-hour mark when Asmin let a routine high ball slip through his fingers. Philippine captain Darius Diamante pounced on it and sneaked it in off an acute angle for 4-0.

Asmin, who was having a very ragged game, collided with a team mate just before the half. The impact caused a nasty gash above his left eye that would require stitches. Asmin was rushed to the hospital and was replaced by Muhammad Norhamizan.

The second half saw more rain, slowing the tempo of the game. The Philippines seemed to take their foot off the gas a bit.

Brunei had two chances off headers but both sailed wide.

Diamante (#10) and Jovan Marfiga battle for possession. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.

Substitute Vincent Lovitos found the back of the net in the ninetieth minute after a goalkeeping blunder, but the assistant referee waved the goal off because the striker was adjudged to be offside.

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In injury time Mohamed Afif Hadi nearly produced a consolation goal but his effort was well-saved by Pinoy keeper Michael Asong.

After the game two Brunei players were seen asking and receiving photo opportunities with Borlongan, who studies in Abba's Orchard school in Cagayan De Oro.

The Filipinos were physically much larger than the Brunei kids, and technically superior too in their ball control and passing. Brunei Football has suffered greatly from a FIFA ban and recently were the subject of much derision after their senior team pulled out of the Challenge Cup qualifiers in the Philippines.

The Filipino players are from Metro Manila, Davao, and Cebu and are flown in to Manila or to other ASEAN cities for matches every week. Last weekend they defeated NFABD 3-0 in Bandar Seri Begawan for their first win of the campaign.

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The Pinoys have four more games, July 6 against Frenz Indonesia in Kota Bandung, July 13 at home against Lao Toyota of Laos, July 20 at home versus Mandalay of Myanmar, and then the last group game against Frenz B of Malaysia in Pahang, Malaysia on July 27. With a 2-4 slate the Philippines will need a furious finish to make the playoffs.

PFF Gen. Sec. Ed Gastanes was at the game and explained that this tournament is the brainchild of a Malaysian prince (son of a Sultan) and is meant to raise the standard of youth Football in ASEAN and in turn make the region more competitive with the rest of Asia.

The team's coach, Anto Gonzales, recently visited Iloilo to help strengthen the squad. It currently does not have any Ilonggo kids. The team will take part in the Asian Football Confederation U15 Championship qualifiers in September, and are slated to play against Japan.

Follow Bob on Twitter @bhobg333.

Image copyright Bob Guerrero.