YANGON (13 Sept 2017) – Myanmar not only defied the odds but also an early setback to beat Vietnam 2-1 tonight to make the semi-finals of the AFF Under-18 Championship here at the Thuwunna Stadium.
Some might call it luck but whatever the misgivings, the fact that the Myanmar boys came back from a goal down as early as the first minute of play, showed their battling quality.
“It was an extremely difficult match,” said Myanmar captain Soe Moe Kyaw. “But the fans made a lot of difference and that motivated us.”
The game was barely a minute old when off a cross from the right, the unmarked Nguyen Hong Son latched on to score and give the lead to Vietnam.
Myanmar tried to get into the game but Vietnam were just too composed as they fended off the onslaught from the likes of Pyae Sone Naing, Win Naing Tun and Myat Kaung Khant.
On the other hand, Vietnam had the wiles of Tran Van Cong to move forward but the score remained till the midway of the second half.
A seemingly inoffensive freekick from Sone Naing allowed Kaung Khant to slam in the lead right at the far post as it not only send the fans to their feet but also put Vietnam under pressure.
And that would turn the tide to Myanmar’s favour.
As Vietnam struggled to inject focus into their game where they were hoping a draw would be enough for them to make the cut, came the killer blow four minutes to the end – with Lwin Moe Aung scoring in from close off a corner.
“We lost focus in the second half,” said Le Xuan Tu. “We only have ourselves to blame for this. But we will be better next time.”
The win has allowed Myanmar to take the runners-up in Group B based on head to head after both Myanmar and Vietnam were tied on the same goal difference and also goals scored.
RESULTS – GROUP B
Brunei DS 0 Indonesia 8
Myanmar 2 Vietnam 1
FINAL GROUP STANDINGS (as at 13 Sept 2017)
- Teams in bold qualify for semi-finals
- Myanmar came in as runners-up from Group B based on head to head with Vietnam after both teams are tied on goal difference and goals scored