| YANGON (Sept 6, 2007) – The heavy rain and strong winds did not dampen the spirit of hosts Myanmar who opened their campaign in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Women’s Championship with a blistering victory over Singapore here this evening.
Myanmar, fourth in last year’s inaugural women’s championship, adapted to the wet conditions to walk away with a hard-earned 3-0 win. Myanmar claimed full points thanks to goals from Zin Mar Wan, who scored twice, and Aye Nandar Hlaing.
Just as the delightful and colourful opening ceremony drew to an end and the two teams trooped out for the opening match, the skies above the Youth Training Centre Stadium here suddenly opened up.
Despite the wet conditions, Myanmar were fired up and took the fight to the Lions. And it did not take long for them to split the Singapore defence. Striker Aye Nandar Hlaing stormed past the defenders, rounded the keeper and popped the ball in just 11 minutes into the game.
The heavy pitch made it a struggle for Singapore, and it was no surprise they were camped in their own half for much of the half. Myanmar tried hard to add to their tally but were denied by the hardworking defenders.
Myanmar’s persistence paid off as they picked up two late goals in the 38th and 44th minutes through the efforts of Zin Mar Wann.
After the break, Singapore drew back into their own half, clearly to try and limit any further goals from their eager opponents. And to their credit, the Singapore defence combined well to deny any further breaches.
“All credit to Myanmar today, they were fast and played well for the entire 90 minutes. The way they played in the first half, we had to limit the score in the second. We are certainly not embarrassed to lose to a team like Myanmar,” said coach Nathaniel Klay Napiah.
He added that both teams would have given a better account of themselves if the weather had been better. Although the rain eased up towards the end, it never stopped until the final whistle.
Meanwhile, Myanmar head coach U Aye Kyu was pleased with the team. “They were aggressive and fast in the first half and that led to the goals. The players were anxious and eager to get more goals that led to them being caught offside a number of times.”
Myanmar will face Laos in their next Group B tie on Saturday evening.
MYANMAR: May Khin Ya Min, San San Thien, San San Maw (C), Su Su Wai, Moe Moe War, Than Than Htwe, San Yu Naing, My Nilar Htwe, Khin Marlar Tun, Aye Nandar Hlaing, Zin Mar Wann.
PIC: Singapore (in red) against Myanmar (in white)