Myanmar shine, but coach not satisfied

One day enough for team to recover before meeting S'pore, says Kyi Lwin

HE WAS part of the 1993 Myanmar SEA Games team that beat Singapore in the football semi-final. More than two decades on, Kyi Lwin could again break more Singaporean hearts - if his team's clinical performance in their 4-2 Group A win over Indonesia is anything to go by.

Singapore play Myanmar tomorrow. And despite having only one day of rest after yesterday's exertions, Kyi Lwin is confident his team can recover in time to dent Singapore's hopes of topping their group.

Said the former midfielder: "The schedule is no problem for Myanmar. We have competed in the SEA Games before. We have full confidence in the match against Singapore."

On his players' four-star show, Kyi Lwin said: "I appreciate the effort of our players today, but I'm not 100 per cent satisfied."

His players certainly looked up to the task last night. Led by the speedy attacking trident of Kaung Sat Naing, Nay Lin Tun, and Shine Thura, they troubled the Indonesian defence constantly. Behind them, the composed midfield duo of Hlaing Bo Bo and Ko Oo Ye orchestrated proceedings.

After 21 minutes, Myanmar took the lead through Shine Thura, who pounced on a loose ball in the box and fired home with his left boot.

Kyi Lwin's team doubled their lead 18 minutes later. From a free kick on the left, Kaung Sat Naing's flick-on was parried by Indonesia goalkeeper Natshir Fadhil. It fell to Si Thu Aung, who headed in with the goal gaping.

Indonesia pulled one back on the stroke of half-time in fortuitous fashion, as left-back Abduh Lestaluhu's cross crept in at the far post.

Myanmar continued to dominate in the second half.

Nine minutes in, it was 3-1. The industrious Si Thu Aung robbed Indonesia's Hansamu Yama Pranata, and made no mistake with only Natshir to beat.

Myanmar got a fourth through substitute Kyaw Zin Lwin, who swept home from inside the area after the Indonesian defence failed to deal with a Nay Lin Tun free kick from the left.

Indonesia reduced the deficit through Ahmad Nufiandani, who fired home powerfully from close range, but the goal had little more than consolation value.

Watching in the stands, Singapore coach Aide Iskandar acknowledged that his charges would have to watch Myanmar's attackers carefully.

He said: "Myanmar play good attacking football. They were fast and they pressed the ball well. It will be a good match, and we have to be careful and very focused."

Kyi Lwin is relishing the chance to lock horns again with Singapore. He said: "The target is the gold. We are on track, but we have to take it match by match."

siangyee@sph.com.sg

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