Myanmar U19s miss AFF semis a er Thailand paves way for Australia
THE Myanmar U19s team’s seemingly charmed Asian Football Federation Championship campaign came to a sour end yesterday after a draw against Thailand left the White Angels with a third-place group stage finish.
The U19 squad’s two wins weren’t enough to book their ticket to the semi-final, as a damaging 3-0 loss to Australia and a draw against Laos left them with only eight points, four behind second-place finishers Australia. Myanmar opened the tournament with a 3-2 win over Indonesia, and also defeated Cambodia 3-0.
Riding the momentum of the latter victory on September 18, the White Angels were hoping for a better outcome against their main tournament rivals, but managed just one goal in a 1-1 draw Thailand. Australia, meanwhile, defeated Laos 2-1, clinching the final semi-final slot.
The White Angels hopes of advancing were still alive at the half on the strength of Hein Phyo Win’s 10th minute goal and with Laos leading Australia by the same score.
But a second-half equaliser from Thailand’s Supachai Jaided in the 59th minute and a go-ahead rally from Australia dashed the White Angels’ dreams of a deeper run in the regional tournament.
Tomorrow’s semi-final matches will pit hosts Vietnam against Australia, while Thailand will face tournament upstarts Timor-Leste, who defeated the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore en route to their semi-final berth. The final and third-place consolation matches will be held on September 24.
Thailand defender Chotipat Poomkeaw (right) avoids a tackle past Myanmar forward Shwe Ko (left) during their AFF U19 group stage tie yesterday. Thailand ended atop Group B with 13 points.