YANGON (19 Sept 2011) – A missed penalty late in the game cost Myanmar a place in the final of the AFF Under-19 Championship 2011 as they allowed Thailand to advance on a 2-1 win in the semi-final tie that was played at the Youth Training Centre.
The win for Thailand will see them squaring off against Vietnam who beat Malaysia with the same 2-1 score line in the other semi-final tie that was played at the Aung San Stadium.
“Both teams played an exciting game although the rain affected the quality of the match. But I must say that we were a little lucky in the game with the first goal and then the second goal and of course Myanmar’s missed pealty,” said Kittipat Meesuwan, the assistant team manager of Thailand at the post match press conference.
“It takes a man to score a penalty and for the Myanmar lad, he had a tough time when he tried to score the penalty. The Myanmar fans were pressuring him and that probably resulted in the miss.”
With the heavy downpour just an hour before kick-off, there was really no expectation on either team to play beautiful passing game. But it was Thailand who created the first real chance in the game with Jaturong Pimkoon coming in from the left, whose pass to Pakorn Parmpak saw the latter missing from a tight angle.
A minute later, Athit Wisetsilpa’s left footer attempt narrowly missed the upright.
But in the tenth minute, there was no denying Thailand the lead when off a Perapat Notchaiya corner, the unmarked Thitiphan Puangjan had all the time in the world to nod the ball home.
Not to be outdone in front of the more than 10,000 screaming fans, Myanmar’s Zayar Phyo Kyaw unleashed a 16th minute stinger which forced a full stretched save from Thai custodian Watchara Buathong.
The change for Thiha Zaw at the end of the first half gave a dramatic pace to the Myanmar game and barely a minute after his introduction; the lad prised open the equaliser with a 25metre stinger that caught Watchara off guard.
The second half saw both teams upping the ante for the lead but the slippery conditions made them a little cautious inside the box. But as time wore on, the desperation was obvious as either teams want to avoid having to play extra-time under these energy-sapping conditions.
In the 74th minute, Myanmar conceded a penalty when Naing Lin Oo was faulted by Philippines’ referee Jovanie Villagracia for a kick on Jaturon. Pakorn did not miss from the spot.
Myanmar pushed every man they had in front in search of the equaliser and they were presented with a golden chance two minutes to the end when Yan Naing Htwe was brought down inside the box by Watchara for a penalty.
But this time round, captain’s Phyo Maung Maung Kyaw attempt came off the upright instead – much to the disappointment of the fans.
“Thailand were the more lucky team today, they are certainly not the better team,” added Gerd Zeise, the chief coach of Myanmar.
“But I have respect for my players for making the semi-finals. “
19 Sept: THAILAND 2 MYANMAR 1 / VIETNAM 2 MALAYSIA 1
THIRD and FOURTH PLACING / FINAL FIXTURES
(Both matches at the Youth Training Centre)
21 Sept: Myanmar vs Malaysia (1530) / Thailand vs Vietnam (1810)