SEA Games: Young Azkals semis bid in peril after loss to Myanmar
MANILA, Philippines–Myanmar dealt the Philippines a 2-1 defeat Wednesday night, putting the Young Azkals’ hopes of reaching the semifinals for the first time in peril in the men’s football competition of the Southeast Asian Games at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Just like its 1-1 draw with 2017 silver medalist Malaysia last Monday, Myanmar took the lead against the hosts with Aung Kaung Mann scoring from close range in the 16th minute.
But the Young Azkals tied the match in first-half stoppage time as Justin Baas fired an unstoppable volley past San Satt Naing.
Picking up from where they left off in the first half, the Young Azkals put Myanmar under pressure for long periods in the second half. Still, they found the visitors tough to break down.
As the Young Azkals pushed more players forward in search of a winner, they left plenty of space at the back and Myanmar duly capitalized.
Substitute Win Naing Tun pounced on a ball over the top of the defense and scored on a composed finish 12 minutes from time to complete a swift counter-attack, boosting Myanmar to its first win of the competition.
Bulgarian coach, Velizar Popov’s side is now on top of Group A with four points, with Malaysia, Cambodia and the Philippines all owning a point. The Young Azkals are left with a mountain to climb if they want to reach the next round.
They need to sweep their remaining matches, starting with the clash against Malaysia on Friday. The Filipinos finish their group matches on December 4 at Binan Football Stadium, where they will face Timor Leste.
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