Co-hosts Myanmar enter AFF Cup semis for 2nd time

YANGON • Hosts Myanmar sent the crowd wild at the Thuwanna Stadium in Yangon last night, by beating Malaysia 1-0 to make it through to the last four of the AFF Suzuki Cup for only the second time in their tournament history.

Myanmar needed only a draw in their final Group B match to go through, but went one better when David Htan scored in the 89th minute.

In what was a a tight contest, Myanmar controlled most of the game with striker Aung Thu wreaking havoc in the first half when he hit the woodwork and missed a penalty.

The second half was surprisingly subdued with few chances and Malaysia struggling to create chances.

Myanmar's goal came when Htan wrapped up an outstanding match with a brilliant individual goal with a minute left before full-time.

Skipping past two Malaysian defenders on the right with his pace, he hit a pure strike with his left foot from the edge of the penalty area that went low and hard into the back of the net.

Myanmar next face defending champions Thailand in the semi-finals next weekend.

Vietnam, who had already qualified for the semi-finals after victories over Myanmar and Malaysia, made it three wins out of three matches in Group B with a 2-1 victory over Cambodia yesterday.

At the Wunna Theikdi Stadium in Naypyitaw,what was expected to be a fairly straightforward victory for Vietnam was turned on its head in the opening minutes when Truong Dinh Luat received his marching orders for a poor tackle.

But Vietnam refused to cave in and continued to pour forward, with inspirational captain Le Cong Vinh stabbing in the first goal in the 20th minute.

Cambodian centre-back Nub Tola then scored an own goal in the 50th minute to cap off a disappointing campaign for the Angkor Warriors.

Cambodia kept things interesting when Cheng Polroth smashed a 30-metre beauty past the stranded Vietnamese defence in the 65th minute, but the equaliser never came.

Vietnam will face Indonesia in the two-legged semi-finals.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 27, 2016, with the headline 'Co-hosts Myanmar enter AFF Cup semis for 2nd time'. Print Edition | Subscribe