Myanmar stay in contention for Asian Cup qualification

Myanmar remain firmly in the running to qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup following a 2-2 draw with India on Tuesday.

Yan Naing Oo got Myanmar off to a dream start at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, climbing high to head home Thein Than Win’s left-wing cross at the back post less than a minute after kickoff.

However, the hosts had the perfect opportunity to hit back in the 13th minute when Sunil Chhetri was tripped by Hlaing Bo Bo inside the box, and the India captain made no mistake in sending Kyaw Zin Htet the wrong way.

Myanmar did manage to reclaim the lead six minutes later, pouncing on a loose ball on the edge of the box and firing away a shot that somehow squirmed under Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

But, in the 69th minute, Jeje Lalpekhlua got in behind the opposition defence and brought a high ball brilliantly down on his chest, before clinically finishing into the far corner to earn the Indians a share of the spoils.

The draw matters little for India given they have already qualified for United Arab Emirates 2019, but it is still a positive for Myanmar even though they failed to claim maximum points.

They may now have fallen behind Kyrgyzstan in third place in Group A but both sides still have to play one another in a game in hand.

Victory in that would see Myanmar reclaim a top-two spot with one final encounter against bottom side Macau, who have lost all five of their games so far, while Kyrgyzstan still to take on India one more time.

INDIA: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, , Anas Edathodika, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Udanta Singh, Eugeneson Lyngdoh (Anirudh Thapa 82’), Germanpreet Singh, Halicharan Narzary (Bikash Jairu 76’), Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sunil Chhetri.

MYANMAR: Kyaw Zin Htet, David Htan, Win Min Htut, Zaw Min Tun, Sithu Aung, Yan Aung Kyaw, Hlaing Bo Bo (Kyi Lin 90’), Yan Naing Oo, Aung Thu, Thein Than Win (Thet Naing 39’), Kyaw Ko Ko (Tin Win Aung 64’).

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