Matchday One - Group G: Bali United 1-3 Yangon United
Bali: Sekou Sylla struck twice as Yangon United got their 2018 AFC Cup campaign off to a winning start with a 3-1 victory at Bali United in Group G on Tuesday.
The side from Myanmar showed more intent in the early stages and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 15th minute as Kyaw Khant Min’s low cross from the left was perfectly weighted for Emmanuel Uzochukwu, who sidefooted in off the underside of the crossbar from close range.
And just three minutes later, Yangon stunned the home crowd with a second. Uzochukwu broke down the right and his deep cross went across goal to Lwin Maung Maung, who picked out the unmarked Sylla to head in off the far post from six yards.
Incredibly, it was 3-0 in the 25th minute, with Uzochukwu surging down the right and cutting back to Sylla, who swept home from 12 yards out.
The pace of the game dropped until Bali pulled a goal back in added time of the first half, Nyoman Sukarja rounded the keeper to cross for Gede Sukadana, who fluffed his first effort before the ball ricocheted back into his path and he stabbed home at the second attempt.
Wardanha denied Sylla his hat-trick with a fine stop from his powerful header before Bali were handed a lifeline in the 82nd minute when Moukailou Kekere handled a cross and conceded a penalty. But Kevin Brands struck the spot-kick wide to all but end the home side’s hopes of salvaging something from the game.
In two weeks, Yangon host Vietnam’s FLC Thanh Hoa, also winners in their AFC Cup opener, while Bali travel to face Global Cebu in the Philippines, with both sides aiming to get off the mark.