Myanmar's Kaung Sat Naing (in red) lets fly in his side's 5-1 win over the Philippines. Photo: Lawrence Tan/SINGSOC
Urged on by their legions of fans, Myanmar came from 0-1 down to triumph 5-1 over the Philippines at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday evening.
Cheers of “Myanmar! Hey!” rang continuously as the battle on the pitch ensued. Inspired by the support, Myanmar got off to a good start but failed to capitalise on their chances.
Their wastefulness was punished in the 16th minute, when Philippines captain Shirmar Felongco won possession on the halfway line and raced forward to score the opener.
Undeterred, the Myanmar fans chanted even louder and were rewarded just five minutes later when captain Nay Lin Tun’s free kick took a wicked deflection off the wall to leave goalkeeper Nathanael Ace Villanueva wrong-footed.
Smelling blood, Myanmar pressed forward; every touch and pass greeted by vociferous cheers. Indeed, it was only valiant, desperate defending, that ensured that the Philippines held on till half time.
“We made some mistakes in the first half, playing a long ball game,” Myanmar coach Kyi Lwin later admitted. “In the second half, we changed to a short passing game.”
It took just a minute for the change to reap dividends, with Nay Lin Tun threading a pass for Shine Thura to stab home.
This opened the floodgates, with Ye Win Aung, Si Thu Aung and Kyaw Zin Lwin piling on the misery for the inexperienced Filipinos and leaving Myanmar on the brink of a place in the semi-finals.
“There’s nothing much to say,” Philippines coach Marlon Maro said. “We played well in the first half – the players played according to plan – but we just couldn’t keep up with the speed of the Myanmar players.”
Tran Phi Son (number 20) scored the first goal for Vietnam against Timor-Leste. Photo Credit: Loh Then Min/SINGSOC
Vietnam treated their fans with yetanother 90 minutes of attacking football at the 28th Southeast Asian Games football tournament with 4-0 win over Timor-Leste.
At half time, Vietnam led 1-0 with the only goal from Tran Phi Son’s header in the 10th minute. Timor-Leste spent most of their time defending against the Vietnamese who clocked 11 attempts on goals in the first half. Timor-Leste’s only attempt came in the 8th minute when Jairo Neto shot over the bar in a counter attack.
The scoring prowess by Vietnam is revealed in the second half, a trend that was seen in their past 3 games, with more goals scored in the second half than in the first.
In the 49th minute, Mac Hong Quan headed home in similar fashion to fellow striker Tran Phi Son.
Que Ngoc Hai, the captain who assisted both earlier goals, scored the third for Vietnam with a cross shot in the 56th minute.
4 minutes later, Vo Huy Toan put in the final touch for the fourth goal after a strike by substitute Le Thanh Binh was parried by Timor-Leste’s goalkeeper Ramos Maxanches.
Despite their loss, Timor-Leste Coach Fabio Da Silva is proud of his players. “They never give up,” said Da Silva.
“They (Timor-Leste) played attacking football,” remarked Toshiya Miura, Coach of Vietnam, who attributed the high score to the less defensive opponent as compared to Laos, whom they won 1-0.
With the fourth victory, Vietnam reclaimed the top spot at Group B from Thailand, and at the same time secured a slot at the semi-finals. Their last fixture in Group B is the clash against Thailand in the fight for the first position in Group B’s tables on Wednesday, June 10.
Bishan Stadium will stage the match between Brunei and Malaysia on Monday, June 8, one day before Timor-Leste takes on Laos.
This author of this article is a volunteer content producer with Team Nila. For more content produced by Team Nila, please head to the 28th SEA Games Social Wall.