Myanmar virtually through to the AFC Cup semisAugust 2nd, 2008 - 9:14 pm ICT by IANS
By Abhishek Roy
Hyderabad, Aug 2 (IANS) Myanmar are virtually through to the semi-finals of the AFC Challenge Cup football with a 3-1 victory over Sri Lanka in their second Group B match at the Gachibowli Stadium here Saturday. Second-half goals from Myat Min Soe, Paing Yang and substitute Thu Win Si ensure Myanmar maximum six points from their opening two games. Kasun Nadika Jayasuriya replied for the 2006 runners-up.
Both the teams waged an intense battle in the goalless first half.
After the break, Myanmar took only two minutes to breakthrough, when Soe pierced the Sri Lankan defence on the run to squeeze the ball into the goal.
The goal stung Sri Lanka and within three minutes they were level after midfielder Chamira Mudiyanselage set-up Jayasuriya, who lobbed it past the Myanmar goalkeeper Aung Oo Aung.
Myanmar continued to set the pace and a chances came their way. Yang could not find a way to beat Sri Lankan goalkeeper Viraj Asanka on more than one occasion.
It was not all one-way traffic, however, as Sri Lankan forwards made forays into the Myanmar goalmouth with better football with their neat passing. But, they could not get a clear shot at the goal.
Myanmar continued to pose danger, especially from their set-pieces, and they regained the lead in the 69th minute when midfielder Yin Thein Yaza picked out Yang with a precise pass on the edge of the area. Yang crisply shot past Viraj in goal.
The Sri Lankans, in search of an equaliser failed to cover their flanks and allowed Myanmar to score a third goal. Quick thinking playmaker Yaza sent an accurate cross to lurking Si who darted in to strike home.
Tags: abhishek, afc challenge cup, afc cup, aug 2, chamira, cup football, cup semis, equaliser, flanks, forays, intense battle, jayasuriya, second group, semi finals, set pieces, six points, sri lankan, sri lankans, thein, yaza