Myanmar boots U23 Azkals out of SEA Games contention
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 08, 2015 06:06 PM
(Photo via SINGSOC / Action Images via Reuters)
SINGAPORE – Myanmar booted out the Philippines from contention in the 28th Singapore Southeast Asian Games football tournament with a 5-1 rout of the Filipino booters last Sunday night at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Stung by an early goal by the first half, the Burmese were relentless in the second half, punishing Pinoy subustitute goalkeeper Nathaniel Ace Villanueva with four goals in the second half on the way to their third straight win and became the first squad to advance to the semifinals from Group A.
Needing to win the match to stay alive after losing their first two matches to Singapore (0-1) and Cambodia (1-3), respectively, the Nationals saw their hopes soar when midfielder Enzo Cheng scored the first goal in the 17th minute from the edge of the goalbox past goalkeeper Phyo Kyaw Zin.
But their jubilation was short-lived when Nay Thin Lun equalized four minutes later on a deflected free kick.
All went downhill for the Filipinos in the second half, starting with an easy goal barely seconds into the last 45 minutes when striker Thura Shine scored from the right wing as the Filipino defenders were caught napping.
“We made simple errors, simple mistakes,” rued head coach Marlon Maro. “But these things are just normal who are new to international competition.”
The National Under-23 squad tries to avoid going home without a win when it faces Indonesia at 8:30 pm on Wednesday.
Beating the Indonesians, who kept their semifinal bid alive after whipping Cambodia, 6-1, last Saturday will be a pretty tall order after their football association promised to reward them with $75,000 (roughly P3.4 million) should they win the gold medal.