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Yangon: A dramatic last-minute equaliser by Myanmar striker Kyaw Ko Ko gave the hosts a deserved 2-2 draw in a tense AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 qualifier with Kyrgyz Republic on Tuesday night.

The visitors led from as early as the 12th minute when midfielder Anton Zelyanuhin (pictured below, left) fired home from the penalty spot after Myanmar keeper Thiha Si Thu was adjudged to have committed a foul in the area. 

Kyrgyz Republic doubled their lead in the 49th minute when Viktor Maier waltzed through the Myanmar defence and blasted a powerful shot home from the edge of the area. 

It was a match that Myanmar did more than enough to win, however, but were undone by wasteful finishing and a strong performance by Kyrgyz goalkeeper Matiash Pavel, until his error in the final minute gifted Myanmar the draw. 

The first half was an even affair. After Zemlyanuhin’s opener, Myanmar sparked into life and within minutes a powerful shot by Sithu Aung was tipped around the post by Pavel. 

Both sides continued to create chances, but it was Myanmar who finished the half strongest, creating a number of opportunities. 

Their best came in the 42nd minute when striker Yan Naing Oo was through on goal, only to blast hit shot straight at Pavel who pushed it wide. Kyrgyzstan were able to clear the resulting corner and went into the break 1-0 ahead. 

The visitors doubled their lead within minutes of the restart after Maier fired his powerful shot home. But from there Myanmar rallied and immediately halved the deficit when Aung Thu finished a clever move to make the score 2-1. 

Myanmar pushed hard for an equaliser, but were unable beat Pavel. First Kyaw Ko Ko had a strong shot well saved in the 70th minute, then another clear-cut chance for Kyaw Ko Ko fell straight into the arms of Pavel. 

But, backed by a boisterous crowd, Myanmar claimed a well-deserved leveller with almost the final play of the game when Pavel spilled a tame effort straight into the path of Kyaw Ko Ko, who headed home from close range. 

The result moves both teams on to four points from their first three games, and five points adrift of Group A leaders India, who face Macau on Wednesday evening.

Photos: AFC