Yangon United floor Bali with remarkable revival

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Yangon United have booked their place in the AFC Cup knockout round after coming from behind to beat Bali United 3-2 on Wednesday.

It was Bali who broke the deadlock at the Thuwunna Stadium in the 11th minute following good work by Ricky Fajrin.

Refusing to give up on a lost cause, the left-back somehow forced his way past Maung Maung Lwin and Kekere Moukailou before crossing past Sann Sat Naing to leave Ilija Spasojevic with a simple header into the unguarded goal.

Seven minutes after the half-hour mark, the hosts edged further ahead as goalkeeper I Made Wardana’s punt forward was flicked on by Spasojevic into the path of I Nyoman Sukarja, who raced through and found the bottom corner with a clinical strike.

However, Yangon reduced the deficit a minute before the break when Maung Maung Lwin was released by Kosuke Uchida’s lovely slide-rule pass and lashed a powerful shot past Wardana at the near post.

And, in the 58th minute, the Myanmar National League outfit duly levelled the scores when Uzochukwu Emmanuel bulldozed his way past three defenders and coolly finished into the back of the net.

At this stage, even a point would have been enough to seal Yangon’s progress but the momentum was firmly in their favour so it was no surprise they went on to complete a remarkable come-from-behind triumph in the 73rd minute.

Maung Maung Lwin once again played a pivotal role as he got in behind the Bali defence and unselfishly played the ball across the face of goal to leave Sekou Sylla with a simple tap-in.

The result now means Yangon have an unassailable lead at the top of Group G, while Bali will have try and qualify as the best-placed runners-up.

YANGON UNITED: Sann Sat Naing, Nan Wai Min (Kyaw Htoo 90+5′), Kekere Moukailou, Thein Zaw, Min Kyaw Khant (Kyi Lin 77′), Yan Lin Aung, Kosuke Uchida, Maung Maung Lwin, Uzochukwu Emmanuel (Yan Aung Kyaw 90+2′), Kyaw Zin Oo, Sekou Sylla.

BALI UNITED: I Made Wardana, Dias Angga Putra, Demerson, Ahn Byung-keon, Ricky Fajrin, I Gede Sukadana (Yandi Munawar 73′), Fadil Sausu, Irfan Bachdim, Hanis Saghara Putra (Stefano Lilipaly 37′), I Nyoman Sukarja (Muhammad Taufiq 61′), Ilija Spasojevic.