Malaysia 0-0 Myanmar: Missed Malaysian chances

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BANGKOK – Malaysia missed the chance to guarantee their place in the semi-finals of the Asean Football Championship after a goalless draw with Myanmar on Sunday which left Norizan Bakar’s side on four points, two more than Myanmar, with one round of matches left. Malaysia kept faith with the side that started the 4-0 hammering of the Philippines in their Group A opener while his counterpart U Sann Win made just one change from the team that picked up a point as Myanmar drew 1-1 with hosts Thailand.

Starting in goal was Kyaw Zin Htet, who came on for Aung Aung Oo early in the second half of the game against Thailand after the Finance and Revenue keeper broke a finger, and the 19-year-old passed his first test when he got down well to save Nizarudin Yusof’s 19th minute shot.

By then Myanmar could have been in the lead but the impressive Yan Paing hit the post in the ninth minute after being put clear by an exquisite through ball from Aung Myint Aye, who was inches away from getting on the end of Si Thu Win’s cross eight minutes later. Myint Aye was substituted in the 39th minute and with three minutes of the first half left to play his replacement Kyaw Thu Ra’s scuffed shot from the right was almost turned in by Yan Paing. A minute later the Myanmar defence had to act sharply to clear Nizarudin’s header following a corner kick from Norhafiz Zamani before Yan Paing fired high and wide after an intelligent dummy from Thu Win in the final action of an entertaining but goalless first half. Five minutes into the second half Hariduddin Omar, scorer of two goals in Malaysia’s win against the Philippines came off the worse in a collision with the Myanmar keeper but thankfully for the 1996 runners-up he was able to continue. The Pahang striker showed his aerial prowess when he headed a 62nd minute corner goalward only to see it hooked clear by a Myanmar defender before it could reach its target before firing wide with an acrobatic volley eight minutes later. Both sides ran out of steam towards the end with neither able to break the deadlock for a goalless draw that suited hosts Thailand more than it did Malaysia or in particular Myanmar.

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