| YANGON (1 Aug 2008) – Myanmar began their campaign in the AFC Challenge Cup 2008 on an earnest note when they beat Nepal 3-0 at the Gachibowli Stadium last night.
Playing in Group B, the win came off three goals in the second half through Win Thein Yaza (66th minute), Min Tun Myo (76th) and Soe Myat Min four minutes to the end
“It was a very difficult game because this is the first time the boys are playing in this tournament,” said Marcos Falopa, the head coach of Myanmar.
“Nepal attacked well and they made it hard for us but we made a few tactical changes and found a way to get past their defence. We didn’t play very well, but we did enough to win.
“We were thinking about the three points and that is what we have achieved.”
Myanmar started strongly but it was Nepal who had the first look at goal off Anjan KC which was saved by Myanmar goalkeeper Aung Aung Oo.
Myanmar’s first opportunity came two minutes later when midfielder Pai Soe made a good run towards the area before firing a powerful shot that was comfortably saved by Nepal goalkeeper Bikash Malla.
Myanmar had another chance in the 26th minute when Soe Thiha Aung set up Yan Pain with a header but the Myanmar striker couldn’t put enough strength into the shot much to the relief of goalkeeper Malla.
Myanmar kept up the pressure in the second half and Win Thein atoned for his miss three minutes later when he picked up a cross inside the area before firing a powerful shot into the top of the net.
Myanmar doubled their advantage after 76 minutes when substitute Myo Min Tun beat Nepal skipper Rakesh Shrestha to the ball before going into the area and firing the ball off the left upright and into the net.
With four minutes left on the clock Myanmar put the game beyond any doubt when Khin Maung Lwin crossed from the left for Soe Myat Min, who headed home his side’s third goal.
“This is football,” added Falopa. “Sometimes the teams stay goalless for 89 minutes and then someone scores.
“I talked to the players at half time and tried to inspire them to play with more confidence. We will try to qualify for the semi-finals and represent our country well.”
Myanmar’s next match will be against Sri Lanka tomorrow, who lost their first game in Group B 3-0 to DPR Korea.