Football: Myanmar's head coach wants to go one better than in 1993

AS A player, he was a member of Myanmar's football team that ruined Singapore's gold-medal hopes the last time the SEA Games were held in the Republic in 1993.

Now 22 years on after booting Singapore out 5-4 on penalties after drawing 3-3 in extra-time in that dramatic semi-final, Kyi Lwin has set his sights on masterminding a similar upset at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Kyi, head coach of the Myanmar Under-23s, will lead his side out against Aide Iskandar's Young Lions in their second Group A match tonight.

In 1993, Kyi wore the No. 7 shirt for Myanmar and was the driving force in central midfield as the White Angels eventually finished with the silver medal.

But the tactician wants his men to go one better and win the gold this time and repeat what he did as a player - silence the home crowd.

"I have already done my job as a player for Myanmar and it is my players now who must do the job on the field," said Kyi, through a translator on the sidelines of his team's training session at ITE College Central yesterday evening.

On Tuesday, Myanmar started their SEA Games campaign with an impressive 4-2 win over Indonesia.

But Kyi wants more, saying: "Our players put in a lot of effort in the first match, but we can do better and I have told the players that too."

Kyi, who watched the Young Lions stutter to a 1-0 win over the Philippines on Monday, refused to be drawn into a discussion over the Singapore side's strengths and weaknesses.

"I do not want to comment on the opponents. We have a game plan and the players know that they must go onto the pitch and fight hard," said Kyi, who has been in charge of the White Angels for less than a year.

"I have a team of players who will give everything in the match and you will see that against Singapore."

Kyi, however was eager to reveal who stood out on the night in 1993 for the Lions, as he recounted: "Fandi (Ahmad), (V.) Sundramoorthy, Malek (Awab). (They were) very good players."

Tonight, when his side do battle against the Young Lions, Kyi will hope that he walks away with three points and without having to wax lyrical about the opposition.

drajac@sph.com.sg

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