VIENTIANE (23 Oct 2011) – Vietnam, favoured to win this evening, failed to convert a penalty in the very last minute of tonight’s hard-fought semi-final showdown – allowing Myanmar to sensationally advance to the final of the AFF Women’s Championship with a 2-1 win at the National Stadium here.
“The plan was to hold Vietnam scoreless at the end of the first half,” said Yoshinori Kumada, the chief coach of Myanmar.
“We were a little disappointed that we conceded the goal at the end of the first half but I told the players to calm down and not be so anxious in the second half. We relied more on the flanks when Vietnam slowed down and that made the difference in the end.”
Myanmar had recovered from a first half goal from Vietnam skipper Le Thi Thuong and appeared heading for victory when they conceded a penalty deep in injury time.
Myanmar’s Thida Oo brought down a Vietnam player and Nguyen Thi Muon stepped up to take the kick. Her mid-level shot to the right was punched away by goalkeeper May Khin Ya Min to the delight of the bench.
But Myanmar’s joy was short-lived when referee Abirami Apbai Naidu of Singapore ordered the kick re-taken. This time Chuong Thi Kieu took over but her shot to the left was again superbly saved by the alert keeper.
Abirami blew for the game and Myanmar celebrated their first ever qualification to the women’s final.
Myanmar will face the winner of the Thailand-Laos semifinal later tonight.
It was a cautious first half but towards the end, the Vietnam players’ confidence grew as the game progressed. Vietnam had a quick series of chances inside the first ten minutes but all of their efforts, all headers, were off the mark.
The series of misses started in the seventh minute when Hunyh Nhu failed to control her header.
A minute later, experienced midfielder Nguyen Thi Kim Tien was gifted with a fumbled catch from goalkeeper May Khin Ya Min. However, as the ball fell behind, Tien was unable to manage the header and it went out after hitting a player.
In the ensuing corner kick, taken by Chuong Thi Kieu, striker Nguyen Thi Muon crisp header fell flew straight into the hands of the Myanmar keeper.
With less than two minutes to go, Vietnam skipper Le Thi Thuong whipped a loose shot that came off a corner kick and to her amazement, the shot from 25-metres out went all the way to provide Vietnam with a slender lead going into the break.
Vietnam kept up the pressure after the break but were unable to break through, especially through the flanks where Myanmar’s tough tackling defenders Myint Myint Aye and Thida Oo were quick to cut them off.
Against the run of play, and on the hour mark, Myanmar levelled the score when Than Than Htwe’s dipping shot crashed into goal. Fired up by the goal, Myanmar pressed on and picked up a second in the 79th through substitute Naw Arlo War Phaw who blasted in a rebound of the crossbar.
War Phaw had only come on six minutes earlier.
VIETNAM: Dang Thi Kieu Trinh (GK), Nguyen Thi Xuyen, Tran Thi Hong Nhung, Bui Thi Nhu, Nguyen Thi Kim Tien (Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung, 66th), Nguyen Thi Hoa (Le Thu Thanh Huong, 81st), Chuong Thi Kieu, Nguyen Thi Muon, Huynh Nhu, Le Thi Thuong (cpt), Nguyen Hai Hoa
Head coach: Chen Yun Fa
Team Colours: White/White/White
Scorers: Le Thi Huong (43rd)
MYANMAR: May Khin Ya Min (GK), Myint Myint Aye, Shwe Sin Aung, Thida Oo, Su Su Wai, Than Than Htwe, San San Maw (cpt), My Nilar Htwe (Naw Arlo War Phaw, 73rd), Khin Marlar Tun, Khin Moe Wai (Nilar Myint, 44th), Yee Yee Oo (San Yu Naing, 61st)
Head coach: Kumada Yoshinori
Team Colours: Red/Red/Red
Scorers: Than Than Htwe (60th), Naw Arlo War Phaw (79th)
Yellow: (Nilar Myint, 83rd), San San Maw (90th)
Referee: Abirami Apbai Naidu (Sin)
Asst Referee 1: Somphavanh Luong Lath (Lao)
Asst Referee 2: Supawan Hinthong (Tha)
Fourth Official: Boonpasit Patchaya (Tha)
Match Commissioner: Chaichok Poompuang (Tha)
Referee Assessor: Pham Chu Thien (Vie)
General Coordinator: Xaybandith Rasphone (Lao)
Match No: 13
Match venue: National Stadium
AFF WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP 2011
(All matches at the National Stadium unless indicated otherwise)
GROUP A: Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Laos
GROUP B: Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines
16 Oct 2011: VIETNAM 9 SINGAPORE 1 / INDONESIA 0 LAOS 11
17 Oct 2011: MYANMAR 2 PHILIPPINES 0 / THAILAND 8 MALAYSIA 1
18 Oct 2011: SINGAPORE 1 INDONESIA 3 / LAOS 0 VIETNAM 4
19 Oct 2011: PHILIPPINES 1 THAILAND 5 / MALAYSIA 0 MYANMAR 8
20 Oct 2011: INDONESIA 0 VIETNAM 14 / LAOS 5 SINGAPORE 0
21 Oct 2011: MYANMAR 1 THAILAND 3 / PHILIPPINES 2 MALAYSIA 2
FINAL GROUP STANDINGS
*Teams qualified to the Semi-final round
*Teams qualified to the Semi-final round
23 Oct 2011: VIETNAM 1 MYANMAR 2 / Thailand vs Laos (1900)
THIRD-FOURTH PLACING / FINAL
25 Oct 2011: Vietnam vs (1600) / Myanmar vs (1900)