A hat-trick from winger Naw Arlo Wer Phaw saved Myanmar the blushes as they stormed back in the second half to beat the Philippines 4-1 in Group B of the AFF Women’s Championship at the Thong Nhat Stadium.
Myanmar, who had fallen to a close 3-2 loss to hosts Vietnam in the opening match two days ago, were under pressure from the get-go and they pressed Philippines hard which forced the latter to defence in numbers.
And the Philippines were disciplined at the back as they maintained their composure to look for the quick counter-attack against a speedy Myanmar side bent on piling the goals.
It was through one such counter that the Philippines managed to beat the odds to take the lead in the 21st minute when off a long ball from the back, lone striker Joanna Houplin raced into the box only to be brought down by Wai Wai Aung.
The resulting penalty saw Houplin coolly striking the ball past Myanmar keeper Mya Phu Ngon.
Myanmar stepped on the gas in search of the equalizer but unfortunately in the first half, the best that they could hit was the crossbar off captain San San Maw and Yee Yee Oo.
The second half saw Myanmar taking a more open approach and just five minutes in, they finally banged in the equalizer when Wer Phaw ran past his markers for a shot beyond the reach of keeper Inna Palacios.
Three minutes later, Palacios was beaten again as the Philippines defence collapsed for Wer Phaw to grab goal No. 2.
In the 66th minute, Wer Phaw turned provider when she provided the cross for Khin Moe Wai to score.
After hitting the woodwork yet again, Wer Phaw finally grabbed her third and Myanmar’s fourth as she made good on a quick counter from Khin Marlar Tun.
IN THE MEANTIME, Malaysia tried hard but in the end Vietnam proved to be too hot to handle as the hosts romped to an easy 7-0 win in the second match of Group B.
The match was hardly 55 seconds old and Vietnam had already opened account when Huynh Nhu blasted in from an acute angle as the Malaysian defence stood hapless.
Shattered by the early goal, the Malaysian girls tightened up play and tried holding on to the ball for longer periods. And they did quite well too as they continue to frustrate Vietnam until the end of the first half.
But the break would be pivotal as just two minutes in, Vietnam went ahead when Tran Thi Hong Nhung nodded home the corner from Nguyen Thi Muon.
Some hesitant defending in the 59th minute allowed Nguyen Thi Nguyet to slot home before Malaysia conceded a penalty three minutes later when Norsuriani Mazli was booked for the second time by Thai referee Patchaya Boonprasit.
Huynh Nhu did not hesitate from the spot to make it goal No. 4.
Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung then stepped up with a superbly taken corner in the 78th which swung in straight into Malaysian keeper’s Asma Junaidi goal. She did it again from the other corner in the 90th minute as in between, a stabbing goal in the 82nd minute ensured her the hat-trick.
RESULTS – 4 May 2015
Myanmar 4 Philippines 1
Malaysia 0 Vietnam 7
GROUP B Current Standings