The last one to start their 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup campaign in Group A, but Myanmar's journey in the competition proved to be a shortlived one after they faltered in the group's final hurdle following a 3-0 loss at the hand of Malaysia at Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Saturday.
Antoine Hey's side just could not cope with the pressure on and off the field as approximately 82,000 Malaysian fans pushed the 11 players on the field to produce an outstanding performance to usher The White Angels out of the tournament.
Having spent most of the pre-match playing down whatever potential impact a huge crowd could have on his team, Hey conceded that it did have a big consequence on his young group of players that wilted on the night.
"Firstly, I'll like to congratulate Malaysia for the win and advancing to the semi-final. It was not one of our best matches for sure. We were starting not too bad with a couple of counter attacking chances that we didn't finish well in the first 10-15 minutes. We knew that we should avoid conceding a goal because that would activate the crowd."
"Our plan was to keep it level or at least tried to score in our of counter attacks. We conceded the goal over at the right wing of Malaysia, it was not well defended especially by our midfield. Then we had a chance through Aung Thu and on a better day, he scores and it's 1-1 at half time. Unfortunately straight away we conceded a penalty.
"We tried to push forward in the second half but we couldn't really create too many chances. When you have all these attacking minded players on the field, we were left exposed at the back. All in all, it wasn't our day.
"I'm far away from blaming the players as they've tried. End of the day, this is our 4th match in 12 days and some of the players were tired," said Hey in the post-match press conference.
Tan Cheng Hoe were obviously targeting Myanmar's left side as the weak point in their defence with Mohamadou Sumareh being the chief destroyer as he ran rings around Nanda Kyaw who had little support from his other team mates. Nanda a surprising selection considering that Win Thein Than had started two previous matches.
Malaysia only slightly shaved the possession statistics with 54.4% of the control but with 12 shots and 6 of them on target, exactly double of what Myanmar produced on the night, tells the whole story of how one-sided this encounter was.
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