Some are calling Myanmar’s second-leg AFF Suzuki semi-final battle against Thailand tomorrow a Mission Impossible.
Trailing the reigning champions by two goals after the first-leg in Yangon has made life extremely difficult for Myanmar against a team all fired up to retain the crown.
Despite falling behind in their first-ever AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final appearance, there nevertheless was a silver lining in the defeat to Thailand.
Myanmar coach Gerd Zeise said his strikers had proven there were chinks in the Thai defence. They managed to break through the defence but were unable to put the ball away due to poor finishing.
And they achieved this several times which has given Zeise and the Myanmar fans hope that the team could stage the impossible tomorrow.
“Firstly, congrats to Zico and his team as they have one foot in the final. We have a mini chance tomorrow and we must get an acceptable result for the fans.” Zeise said.
“I have said it many times, our players can create the chances. In the first leg, our No. 21 (Mg Mg Lwin) had good shots in the first 15 minutes but could not score. In the last match, we did not have the luck but maybe things will change in this match tomorrow.”
Zeise will be counting on strikers Aung Thu and David Htan to get their acts together and deliver the goals.
Myanmar need to score three goals to overturn the first-leg result and while appears unlikely, the visitors are not yet ready to throw in the towel. But to win, Myanmar will not only have to score but ensure their defence does not concede any goals.
Goalkeeper Kyaw Zin Phyo and his defence will have to be at their best to stop the likes of the tournament’s top scorer, Teerasil Dangda, who has been on target six times, and Chanathip Songkrasin.
But while Myanmar hope to turn the tables on the champions, Thailand, four-time winners of the region’s most prized piece of silverware, are highly motivated to win a record fifth title. They want to win for their late King and their newly crowned King.
“We have a two-goal lead but tomorrow is still important and we must play our best. We must guard against complacency and not under-estimate Myanmar,” said Thai coach, Kiatisuk Senamuang or Zico at the pre-match press conference today.