Monday, September 25, 2017

New coach, same result for Yangon as Magwe go top

It was a new manager but the same result for defending champions Yangon United as the side slumped to another 2-1 loss at the weekend – this time to Hantharwady United.

Behshad congratulates opening goal scorer Nay Lin Tun. Photo: Facebook / Shan Utd FansBehshad congratulates opening goal scorer Nay Lin Tun. Photo: Facebook / Shan Utd Fans

The Lions may have been missing forwards Kyaw Min Oo (knee), Kyaw Ko Ko (illness) and Kyi Lin (ankle) from the starting line-up but their defence looked shaky in the opening quarter of an hour as the boys from Bago could have been up by three had Fedel Bamba taken his opportunities.

Maung Maung Soe – who recently starred for the national youth set-up on their visit to Vietnam – stood out during the game. Eric Williams – who led that party out to Vietnam – speaks highly of the youngster’s work ethic and Maung Maung Soe impressed those in the stands finishing Hantharwady’s first goal and creating their second from a set-piece after Zaw Min Htun had drawn the teams level.

New coach Marjan Sekulovski is a man who feels the weight of any result and the Macedonian’s manner displayed his disappointment.

“I had hoped that this would be our first win, but when you have four or more key players injured or ill, it is always difficult,” said the coach, adding that David Htan had also been playing with a stomach bug.

“We dominated the game. We had many many chances but we could not finish them,” added Sekulovski.

Click here for a full MNL-1 2016 season schedule!

With the apparent return of Kyi Lin’s ankle problems and suggestions that Kyaw Ko Ko will be out for another week, Sekulovski won’t have long with his new side to prepare them for an always-difficult trip to Taunggyi for their game against Shan United.

For the champion side with no points after two games, that journey to Shan State will look all the more ominous after the 5-0 demolition of Southern Myanmar by Shan United at Aung San Stadium in Yangon on January 17.

The game saw the debut of Behshad Yavarzadeh whose paperwork was not ready in time for last week’s opener against Hantharwady.

After that game head coach Royter Moriera spoke of the need for the Iranian striker to provide additional strength up front, but it was SEA Games captain Nay Lin Tun who opened the scoring for the Shan side before Brazilian Gustavo added a brace either side of a Soe Min Oo penalty. New signing Hein Thiha Zaw completed the rout.

Yangon were not the only side to struggle against unfavoured opposition as Yadanarbon were held to a 0-0 draw at Aung San Stadium on January 16.

The Chin side appeared to up their game to meet the league heavyweights after a 3-0 opening day defeat to Zwekapin United but Yadanarbon coach Rene Deseayere was unimpressed.

“That was the worst I have seen my team play since I arrived here last year,” said the Belgian in the post-match press conference.

“There was one man on the ball running and 10 men standing still. It should be the other way round,” said Deseayere, suggesting that some of his players may have taken the game too lightly.

Fans, including monks, cheer on Zeyar Shwe Myay during their 1-1 draw. Photo: Facebook / RUFCFans, including monks, cheer on Zeyar Shwe Myay during their 1-1 draw. Photo: Facebook / RUFC

Those in the stands suggested the same charge could be levelled at Zwekapin, who lost 3-2 to newcomers Horizon after taking the lead in the 9th minute and then sacrificing it in the 12th. Only late did last week’s leaders score a second as they panicked to salvage a point.

Holders of the only perfect record after two games are Magwe. Last year’s third-place side could have been excused for believing they had a tough opening to the season. But after beating Yangon 2-1 at the Yangon United Sport Complex yesterday evening they took an early lead to overcome Myanmar’s other 2016 representatives in Asia, Ayeyarwady United.

Two goals in just over a quarter of an hour from Sekou Sylla put Magwe in charge and although Ayeyarwady’s Nigerian signing Christopher Chizoba did his best with a double, the goal of Set Phyo Wai in the 41st minute was enough of a cushion for the early season leaders.

League 2 also opened up with a big win for Mawyawadi over perennial bottom-dwellers Pong Gan. Mahar United and United of Thanlyin played out their debut in the professional ranks with a 0-0 draw. The new University FC side played out a hard-fought match with army-side Myawady, coming out on top 3-2 while the battle of the Stars saw newcomers City Stars overcome Silver Stars 3-2.

Click here for a full MNL-2 2016 season schedule!

Last year’s relegated MNL-1 sides both started their attempts to bounce back on a strong note. Nay Pyi Taw beat Dagon 3-2 and Manaw Myay came out the 2-0 victors over last year’s third-place MNL-2 side GFA. Donald Bissa scored on debut in the 4th minute before Yan Kyaw Htwe added a second in the 15th minute.

New Manaw Myay coach Fernando Sales told The Myanmar Times how happy he was with the start.

“The first half was really amazing. We controlled the game with possession, switching players and a lot of combination, but we needed to show more calm to score further goals.”

10 19 20
10 10 22
10 6 21
Ayeyawady United
10 5 15
Rakhine United
10 0 14
Magwe FC
10 -2 13
Zwekapin United
10 -4 13
Nay Pyi Taw FC
10 -8 9
10 -6 8
10 -6 7
Chin United
10 -7 7
10 -7 6
Last Updated - 1 April 2017
Manaw Myay
22 51 52
22 21 49
Nay Pyi Taw FC
22 33 48
Mahar United
22 31 48
Myawady FC
22 23 36
Mawyawadi FC
22 1 35
City Stars
22 1 28
University FC
22 -17 23
Dagon FC
22 -11 20
Pong Gan
22 -37 12
United of Thanlyin
22 -47 11
Silver Stars
22 -49 10
Last Updated - 28 August 2016