It was a match to determine the final group positions and to complete the semi-final fixtures. However, with over 20,000 fans in the stands screaming their hearts out, Myanmar were under pressure to deliver.
The hosts did well to snatch the lead through Khin Moe Wai in the first half but their hopes of finishing as the group champions were dashed when Georgia Plessas netted the equaliser in the 77th minute for final score of 1-1.
With the draw, both sides have seven points each, but the Aussies top the standings on superior goal difference. Finishing second also means Myanmar will have to face Vietnam, who have emerged as the most exciting team here, in the crossover semifinals on Tuesday.
Australia will square off against Group A runners-up, Thailand in the other semi-final clash.
Myanmar knew they had to beat Australia to top the group and avoid Vietnam. With Australia controlling much of the first half, Myanmar launched numerous counter attacks and finally found their way through to score in the 41st minute when Khin Moe Wai let loose a long shot that found its way in.
Australia pushed on and forced some attempts through. The Myanmar defence stood their ground and managed to put the brakes on their rivals. Still, Australia refused to give up and levelled the score through Georgia.
Malaysia meanwhile finally won their first match when they defeated injury-plagued Timor Leste 13-0 in their last Group B game here today.
The bulk of the Malaysian goals were courtesy of Shereilynn Elly Pius and Nur Haniza Sa’arani who blasted five and four goals each.
The Malaysians came into the match riding high after their performance against hosts Myanmar two days ago. In that tie, Malaysia snatched the lead but eventually lost 2-1 in a game the local side were expected to win big.
Malaysia forced their way up and bagged the opening goal of the game after only five minutes when Maria Da Conceica inadvertently turned the ball into the own net as she tried to clear a corner kick at the near post.
Then in the seventh minute, Shereilynn struck the first of five smashing goals today when her freekick found the top corner. She went on to hammer home four more in the 12th, 75th, 88th and 89th minutes.
Nur Haniza found the mark in the 17th, 32nd, 35th and 89th minutes while Malini Nordin was on target twice in the 27th and 45th minutes.
The other goal was from Timor Leste’s Luisa C.S. Marques in the 68th minute. With the win, Malaysia finish third in the group with Timor Leste occupying the last spot.
Malaysia bt Timor Leste 13-0
Myanmar vs Australia U20
Aug 2 (Semi-finals)
1500hrs: Australia U20 vs Thailand
1800hrs: Vietnam vs Myanmar
Aug 4 (Final)
1500hrs: Third-Fourth Playoff
FINAL GROUP STANDINGS
- * Teams in bold qualify for semi-finals