Myanmar’s 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup qualifying campaign is up and running after they cruised to a 3-1 win over Brunei at the New Laos National Stadium on Thursday.
After struggling to break down the opposition defence in the first half, the White Angels finally took the lead three minutes after the break when Min Min Thu was perfectly placed to smash home the rebound after Kyaw Ko Ko’s low drive had been parried by Azman Ilham.
They then doubled their lead in the 54th minute and this time there was no denying Kyaw Ko Ko as he beat Ak Yura Indera Putera in a one-on-one battle before racing through and finishing into the back of the net.
To their credit, the Bruneians refused to give in and pulled one back with 12 minutes remaining after Adi Said latched onto Hendra Azam’s visionary pass, before rounding Thiha Sithu and smashing his shot into the unguarded goal.
But just four minutes later, Myanmar went on to seal the win as Kyi Lin ran onto Nay Myo Aung’s long pass before sending a delicate chip over the onrushing Azman.
With the victory, Radojko Avramovic’s charges climbed up to second and are now two points behind leaders Laos, while Brunei’s hopes of qualification were ended in the process.
In Thursday’s earlier game, Cambodia produced a stunning fightback to beat Timor Leste 3-2 for their first points of the campaign.
Anggisu Barbosa had put the Timorese ahead in the 25th minute when he made a late run into the box and scored on the rebound, after Diogo Santos’ freekick had been saved by Sok Vaty.
And it looked as though O Sol Nascente were cruising to victory when Filipe Bertoldo made it 2-0 in the 51st minute; meeting Diogo’s right-wing cross with an outrageous back-flick into the bottom corner.
However, Sok Chanrasmey came off the bench to hand Cambodia a lifeline five minutes after the hour mark when he turned home Prak Mony Udom’s low cross from inside the six-yard box.
Chanrasmey was at it again in the 78th minute and this time, the disbelief in the Timorese camp was evident as the Tri Asia Phnom Penh attacker scored the equaliser by meeting Chan Vathanaka’s inch-perfect delivery with an exquisite header into the far corner.
Eight minutes from time, the comeback was completed as Chanrasmey completed his hat-trick with an emphatic finish on the follow-up – after Vathanaka’s initial header had come back off the bar – to win it for his side.
Thursday’s 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup Qualifying Results
Timor Leste 2-3 Cambodia
Brunei 1-3 Myanmar