Myanmar sealed top spot in the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup qualifiers on Monday evening after recording a 2-1 win over Laos at the New Laos National Stadium.
The White Angels took the lead in the 42nd minute when Nanda Lin Kyaw Chit latched onto Min Min Thu’s over-the-top pass, before sending a sublime first-time shot into the bottom corner.
Laos had a golden opportunity to pull level on the hour mark after Aung Zaw had committed a foul on Soukaphone Vongchiengkham inside the box; only for the talented forward to blaze over from the spot.
Myanmar then were awarded a penalty of their own ten minutes from time when Kyaw Ko Ko was brought down inside the area, and the Yangon United man made no mistake in finding the back of the net to effectively end the contest.
The hosts did eventually grab a consolation when another spot-kick was awarded as Ketsada Souksavanh converted from 12 yards, but it was ultimately too little too late as their opponents held out for the win.
As a result of finishing top, Myanmar will now head into Group B to take on Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, setting up an enticing reunion between coach Radojko Avramovic and his former Lions side, whom he led to three Suzuki Cup titles in 2004, 2007 and 2012.
Meanwhile, Thim Xad will be heading to Hanoi to face Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines in Group A.
In Monday’s other clash at the Chao Anouvong Stadium, Chhin Chhoeun scored the only goal of the game to hand Cambodia a 1-0 win over Brunei, sealing third spot for the Angkor Warriors in the process.
Myanmar: Thiha Sithu, Nay Myo Aung, Aung Zaw, Zaw Min Tun, Khin Maung Lwin, Chit Su Moe, Min Min Thu (Ye Win Aung 88’), David Htan (Yan Aung Kyaw 41’), Kyi Lin (Aung Kyaw Naing 81’), Nanda Lin Kyaw Chit, Kyaw Ko Ko.
Laos: Seng Athit Somvang, Bounthavy Sipasong, Oudomsith Singlatsomboun (Saison Khounsamnan 71’), Ketsada Souksavanh, Khamla Pinkeo (Sengdao Inthilath 37’), Tiny Bounmalay, Paseuthsack Souliyavong, Phattana Syvilay, Soukaphone Vongchiengkham, Phoutthasay Khochalern, Sitthideth Khantavong (Khonesavanh Sihavong 46’).