Myanmar were surprisingly held to a 1-1 draw at the Youth Training Center, Yangon on Monday evening in their second group A fixture of the Challenge Cup qualifiers. This shall dim their chances to progress into the tournament proper as they need to beat group leaders India on the final matchday.
With two Myanmar strikers out with injury, teenager Soe Kyaw Kyaw was handed a start.
Chinese Taipei, who were so cruelly denied a point against India by a last minute Robin Singh goal, started on the front-foot against the White Angels, as Chen Yi Wei unleashed a venomous strike from a freekick that was awarded about 26 yards away from goal. However Thiha Sithu pulled off a good save, to keep the scoreline intact.
While Park Sung-Hwa’s side had issues upfront, it was surprising to see how poor their midfield fared in the early proceedings, allowing Taipei to get past them at regular intervals, which led to the creation of two more chances in the first 12 minutes.
Midfielder Naing Lin Oo hit back with an effort of his own for Myanmar, but his shot from 26 yards out was just over the bar. Taipei then had a glorious chance, when Su De Cai looked set to score from a Chiu I Huan pass, but the keeper pulled off a spectacular save.
However it seemed like normal order had been restored, when a Paing Soe cross from the left was met by a shot from Kyaw Kyaw in the 18th minute, which found the back of the net.
Neither side were able to create any clear chances in the half, after the goal, with Taipei concentrating on keeping a tight backline for the rest of the half.
At the start of the second half, Myanmar got several chances to kill the game off, but failed to clinch any. Taipei meanwhile resorted to playing a deep defensive line and hitting on the counter, in a bid to get an equalizer.
In the 54th minute Kyi Lin replaced David Htan in the fray while Taipei replaced He Ming Chan with Chan Che Yuan, but barely made it into the White Angel’s box on three occasions.
Myanmar starlet Kyi Lin tried to engineer an opening with Thet Naing, but the latter’s pass into the box was blocked by Taipei’s defense. Chiang Mu-Tsai then replaced Chen Fu Hsiang with Tai Hung Hsu, in order to add some impetus to their attack.
In the 68th minute, Pyae Phyo Aung’s effort went just over the bar, and soon after Kyaw Kyaw was replaced by experienced professional Yaza Win Thein.
In the 78th minute, the referee handed Taipei a chance to get back level, when he awarded a dubious penalty to Mu-Tsai’s side. Lee Ming Chian made no mistake from the spot, to level the matters in the game.
Try as they might, Myanmar were unable to find a winner, which means that they head into the clash against India, in a must-win situation, as a draw would suffice the Blue Tigers, in their quest to reach the 2014 Challenge Cup main edition.
How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.