AFC solidarity Cup SF: Macau v Brunei Darussalam preview

Macau coach Tam Iao San
Photo: Lagardère Sports

Kuching: Macau coach Tam Iao San is hoping first choice striker Nicholas Torrao can make a goal scoring return to the team when they take on Brunei Darussalam in the semi-finals of the AFC Solidarity Cup Malaysia 2016 on Saturday evening.

Torrao was suspended for the 1-1 draw with Sri Lanka on Wednesday evening and flew back to Macau due to work commitments, but the 28-year-old forward will return to Kuching in the early hours of Saturday morning to join his team mates for the last four meeting at Sarawak Stadium.

The Benfica de Macau forward is the tournament’s leading scorer with four goals in his first two games at the competition but Tam (pictured, left) is confident his team can succeed, with or without the striker.

“Torrao has already gone back to Macau because of his job after the Laos match,” said Tam. “He was also suspended and he got a little bit of an injury, but the results we have got in this tournament means that the people in Macau have their eyes focused on the national team and are happy with the results.

“We will try to arrange for him to be back for the semi-final. He has to finish his work on Friday, so he will be back on Saturday, early in the morning. Every team has their difficulties and sometimes you miss important players, but the others have to take responsibility. We play as a team and this is very important.

“This is a new chapter for Macau and Brunei to enter the semi-finals and we will make sure both of us honour the importance of the tournament and we want to show our football. All of us from Macau, the players, coaching staff, the whole team have done their best. We tried to pass through the group matches and our next target is to fight for the final, but both teams are the same.”

Brunei, meanwhile, go into the game off the back of a 3-0 loss in their final Group A game with Nepal on Tuesday evening, but coach Kwok Oh-son (pictured, right) believes his team can bounce back and claim a berth in the final.

“It was pretty easy to bring their confidence back up, the players understand why they lost and the problems they had,” said the coach from Korea Republic. “I tried to give them some feedback and they accepted that.

We won 4-0 against Timor-Leste and lost 3-0 against Nepal, so it was a very good match to get feedback for the players. They have prepared themselves well to perform at their best level in tomorrow’s match.

“It’s a very important game because all four teams in the semi-finals are strong. Macau has a really strong attack, midfield and defenders but we are happy to face them. The semi-final is sudden death, there’s only winners and losers. There is no second chance. It’s important the players do well and whoever wins will qualify for the final.”