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Monday, May 21, 2001

Brunei's World Cup campaign ends in five-goal rout in India

BANGALORE, India - India hammered bottom-placed Brunei 5-0 in their final World Cup football qualifier at Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday but failed to take the second spot in the Asian zone group 8.

Virtually toying with the point-less minnows, India scored at regular intervals with goals coming from Dias Alberto Jules Claudio, in the 12th minute, I.M. Vijayan (23rd), Baichung Bhutia (35th), Jo Paul Anchery (59th) and Abdul Hakim (76th).

However, India coach Sukhwinder Singh's boys narrowly missed the second qualifying spot, despite overwhelming their opponents in Sunday's encounter.

Already eliminated from the qualification race, India needed to win by a six-goal margin on Sunday to push Yemen to third slot. UAE had last week claimed the lone qualifying spot, emerging group leaders with 12 points.

With both Yemen and India ending with 11 points, Sunday's result gave Yemen the second spot in the group by virtue of scoring more goals - 14 - compared to India's 11.

Brunei finished last in the four-nation group 8, failing even to score a single goal in their six outings.

Keen on claiming the second spot and signing off on a high, ahead of their packed international calendar ahead, India went on the offensive right from the word go as the visitors dished out a rather lacklustre showing. Claudio gave the hosts the lead as he neatly netted in after the Brunei defence thought it was an off-side with even custodian Mohammed Wardun Yussof coming out.

The highly talented Vijayan made it 2-0, heading in a superb pass from Anchery with Brunei's defence in disarray.

India's third goal was scored by skipper Bhutia off a spot kick, which was awarded after Anchery was tripped by Abang Norsillmy Taha. After the breather, Anchery, who had played a major role in the match dominated by the Indians, headed in off a corner kick taken by Claudio. Soon after halftime, a heavy downpour began and the proceedings were interrupted for a while.

Hakim, who came on as a substitute, did a good job, scoring the fifth goal for India, taking advantage of a rebound from the goalpost off an Anchery strike.

However, despite frantic efforts in the dying moments, the all-important sixth goal, that would have seen India through to the next round, along with UAE, eluded the hosts.

Meanwhile in Guangzhou, China beat Cambodia 3-1 on Sunday in a World Cup qualifying Group 9 match.

Midfielder Ma Mingyu gave China an early lead, scoring in the fifth minute. Cambodia leveled the match 1-1 in the 12th minute, only for Xu Yunlong to put China ahead in the 22nd minute.

Striker Li Bing completed China's 3-1 victory with a goal in the 42nd minute of the second half.

China were undefeated going into Sunday's match in the southern city of Guangzhou. - Courtesy Times of India

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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