Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Myanmar’s women go down fighting to Thailand

Launching their campaign at the 29th SEA Games yesterday, Myanmar’s women footballers produced a spirited display before going down to Thailand in a match of fluctuating fortunes that went down to the wire.

Down a goal at the interval, Thailand (in blue) rallied in the second half to edge Myanmar 3-2 yesterday in the women’s football competition at the 29th SEA Games in Malaysia. Photo - Myanmar Football FederationDown a goal at the interval, Thailand (in blue) rallied in the second half to edge Myanmar 3-2 yesterday in the women’s football competition at the 29th SEA Games in Malaysia. Photo - Myanmar Football Federation

It was a match riddled with errors though. Both sides consistently won and then threw away possession, and the momentum shifted from one end to the other as the game progressed.

And for the partisan fans viewing the match, it was an emotional roller coaster.

Exchanges were even and so was ball possession. Thailand, clear favourites going into the match, made a mess of the scoring opportunities that came their way as the match progressed, and Myanmar obliged in kind.

But after the misses, and near-misses, it was Myanmar that drew first blood in the 20th minute.

The goal came off a penalty corner and it was left to striker Win Theingi Tun to provide the finishing touch to hand Myanmar the lead which they held on to until half time.

The second half began at a more frenetic pace as Thailand went in search for the equaliser. It came via their midfielder Rattikan Thongsombut in the 68th minute and six minutes later she added a second to put her team ahead for the first time in the match.

And once again it was the scorer of Myanmar’s first goal, Win Theingi Tun, who rose to the occasion to slot in her second goal of the match in the 80th minute and level the score 2-2.

And it was left to Orathai Srimanee, who had come in as a substitute, to score the winning goal only minutes from the final whistle and save the day for Thailand.

After the match, Myanmar coach Roger Reijners remarked the team showed fight but didn’t properly execute the plan he had laid out for them, and that the players had allowed the hearts to rule their minds.

Myanmar will next play Malaysia tomorrow.

Elsewhere, in men’s Group B action favourites Thailand were held to a surprise 1-1 draw by Indonesia while Vietnam thrashed Timor-Leste 4-0 yesterday.

And hosts Malaysia, who are in the same group as Myanmar, edged Brunei 2-1 on Monday despite dominating their opponents who failed to win a single match at the last SEA Games in Singapore two years ago.

Malaysia play Singapore today at the Shah Alam Stadium while Myanmar square off against Laos in the other Group A tie.

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