Captain Nay Lin Tun blasted the winner ten minutes from time to secure Myanmar a hard-earned 2-1 victory over Vietnam in the semifinals of the Singapore SEA Games at the National Stadium this evening.
Myanmar, who had taken an early lead, survived a late charge from Vietnam to advance to their first final since 2007.
“It is a historic goal ever in my football career,” said Lin Tun. “I am of course very happy to have scored the winner for Myanmar. It is not only for the fans back home but also for those who have come watch us play this afternoon.”
For their heroics, Myanmar, the group winners in the preliminary stage, will face either Thailand or Indonesia who will square-off in the other semifinal tie later this evening.
Buoyed by several thousands screaming fans from the stand, Myanmar pulled out all the stops as they pressed Vietnam hard in search of the early goal. But the chances that were created could not find a credible finish from Shine Thura or Ye Ko Oo.
But Myanmar finally snatched the lead through Aung Si Thu’s penalty in the 39th minute for them to take a 1-0 lead at the half. This forced Vietnam to come out fighting into the second half with the talismanic Nguyen Cong Phuong leading the attack.
And after some continued pressure on the Myanmar backline, they managed to wipe out Myanmar’s lead when a defensive slip-up allowed Vo Huy Tan to score the equaliser in the 72ndminute.
Myanmar refused to give up and pressed on for the goals and their persistence paid off some seven minutes later.
Lin Thun took off down the right after picking up a short pass from Naing Kau Sat and aimed his shot towards goal. But the shot struck Vietnam defender Nguyen Thanh Hien and took a nasty deflection before dipping into goal.
The Vietnamese players were stunned and tried to haul themselves back into the game. Their best chance came in the 86th minute but Thanh Hien’s header slipped past the post.
“I would like to apologise to the Myanmar fans for the loss today,” said Vietnam coach Toshiya Miura afterwards.
“We could not give them the present they deserved.”
RESULTS – 13 June 2015
Myanmar 2 Vietnam 1