Apr 27, 2013

Yangon United became the first team from Myanmar to reach the last 16 of the AFC Cup

Domestic champions Yangon United became the first team from Myanmar to reach the last 16 of the AFC Cup after recording a convincing 7-1 win over Indonesia’s Persibo on Wednesday thanks to a hat-trick from Brazilian striker Cezar.

Ivorian striker Adama Kone also scored twice to take his tally for the tournament to eight, while Yan Aung Kyaw and Aung Moe were also on target for Yangon at Manahan Stadium.
And with Yangon claiming a fourth win in Group F, Ivan Kolev’s side sealed their passage to the knockout stage with a game to spare after teams from Myanmar were included in the AFC Cup for the first time last year.

“This is a big achievement for Myanmar club football because for the first time we have qualified for the knockout rounds,” said Bulgarian coach Kolev, who has had spells in charge of the Indonesia and Myanmar national teams.

Yangon are now tied on points and goal difference with Maldives side New Radiant, who beat Sun Hei 3-0 in Hong Kong on Wednesday, but the Myanmar club lead Group F by virtue of scoring two more goals than their rivals.

"Now we want to win the group. We have to win in the last game," added Kolev.

Yangon almost opened the scoring inside the opening two minutes as Kone’s header crashed against the crossbar before Persibo goalkeeper Happy Kurniawan had to be on his toes to push the rebound back onto the woodwork and eventually to safety.
But a minute later the visitors opened the scoring as Kyaw Ko Ko slipped a pass into the feet of Cezar (C├ęzar Augusto Hermenegildo) and the Brazilian striker comfortably beat Kurniawan.
Persibo, though, came close to an equaliser after 16 minutes as a low drive from captain Juan Marcelo Cirelli was pushed to safety by Yangon goalkeeper Aung Wai Phyo.
But 12 minutes later Yangon added a second as Kyaw Ko Ko again provided the ball forward for Kone, and after expertly chesting down the lofted pass, the Ivorian striker drilled an unstoppable strike into the roof of the net.
And a third arrived two minutes before half-time as Kurniawan was only able to help Yan Aung Kyaw’s rising strike from the edge of area into the roof of the net.
Yangon continued to dominate at the state of the second half and the visitors added a fourth six minutes before the hour mark as Yaza Win Thein’s pass found Cezar, who empathically fired past an exposed Kurniawan in the Persibo goal.
And Cezar completed his hat-trick just four minutes later as Kyi Lin’s slide rule pass sent the him clear and the striker coolly skipped around Kurniawan before rolling the ball into the unguarded net to claim his fourth goal of the campaign.
With Persibo’s fourth defeat of the campaign all but confirmed, the home side did claim a consolation with 15 minutes remaining as Han Ji-ho raced in behind the Yangon defence to collect Crah Iswanto’s searching long ball forward and the Korean striker lifted the ball over Yangon goalkeeper Aung Wai Phyo.
Yangon, though, responded as Aung Moe converted David Htan’s low cross at the back post just four minutes later before Kone’s deflected strike sealed the empathic win with five minutes remaining.
Kone was handed a chance to claim his hat-trick in stoppage time after being upended by Wahyudi Hidayat inside the penalty area, but Kurniawan guessed right to save the resulting spot kick from the Ivorian.

Persibo coach Gusnul Yakin admitted that his team did not have enough quality to go far in the tournament.

“I knew that Persibo could not get through to the next round of the AFC Cup,” he lamented.

“I would like to see an improvement in the quality of the team. Our back line is still weak – we do not mark our opponents well and we do not maintain our defence well - so we have add better quality defenders.

“We can also improve our attack. Wahyu Teguh is our only striker now so we have to add to our front line.”

Source: Asian Football Federation