PETALING JAYA (Sept 7, 2001) – It was a battle for survival and both teams knew only a good result would ensure their continued presence in the 21st Kuala Lumpur SEA Games. A defeat would result in their premature exit from the tournament even before the official opening tomorrow evening.

With such high odds at stake, both teams did everything they possibly could to get the goals. Needless to say, the action was intense and the tackles hard as the players took no chances. And how ironic it was that the match turned out to be a heart-stopper.

In the end though, it was Myanmar who emerged the winners and the prize for their efforts was a place in the semifinals. The crucial strikes were delivered by Aung Tun Naing and Yan Paing.

The two remaining matches in Group A between Thailand and Myanmar will decide which team tops the group.

Thailand currently have six points while Myanmar are second with seven. Singapore, who have completed their preliminary matches, are third with four points.

There was no time wasting as both teams got into the act immediately after the whistle. Myanmar and Singapore were both obviously eager to get the early goal as that would take a whle load of pressure of them.

As a result, the fans were treated to some non-stop action for virtually the entire half. However, it was Myanmar who were doing most of the attacking. Myanmar could have stormed ahead but were let down by poor finishing.

Singapore too, led by the tournament’s current topscprer Indra Sahdan Daud, had several looks at goal but nothing came out of them.

Then with three minutes remaining, the 2,000 or so Myanmar spectators, leapt with joy as striker Aung Tun Naing finally smashed the deadlock. But this goal only came about after a terrible blunder by Singapore Ratna Suffian Ishak.

Singapore worked harder to try and force their way forward. But their moves were quickly cut off by the defenders or pushed away to safety by their goalkeeper Aung Aung Oo.

Like in the first half, Myanmar continued to attack in waves but alas, their efforts fizzled out before they could cause any damage. The Myanmar forwards were fast but they lacked the creative sense in front of goal and lost many chances to increase the scoreline.

In the 75th minute, Myanmar’s hardwork paid off when Yan Paing’s left-footed shot from some 20 metres out slipped past goalkeeper Lionel Lewis and rolled in.

Myanmar suffered a blow in the 80th minute when Zaw Lynn Tun was booked for the second time this evening and was subsequantly sent off.

Two minutes later, Singapore was back in the game when Indra Sahdan tookm advantage of a defensive slip-up to put the score at 2-1.

SINGAPORE: Lionel Lewis, Mohamed Noh Rahman, Mohammad Johaness, Ratna Suffian Ishak, Adrian Yeo, Soe Lin Tun, Indra Sahdan Daud, Mohamed Fadzuhasny Juraim (Mohairudyn Romly), Razeligh Khalik, Masrezwan Masturi, Khairani Sanuci, Anuar Shah Mohamed (Razali Johari).

MYANMAR: Aung Aung Oo, Min Thu, Zaw Lynn Tun, Soe Myat Win, Tint Naing Tun Thein, Aung Kyaw Moe, Nay Thu Hlaing, Min Thwin, Aung Kyaw Myint, Aung Tun Naing.


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