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Qualifiers - Group I: Myanmar, Japan stay perfect

Yangon: Myanmar and Japan set up a mouthwatering clash after beating Macau and Timor-Leste respectively on Matchday Two of their AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2019 Group I qualifying campaigns on Sunday. 

Myanmar are tied with Japan on six points but sit second in the standings on goal difference, and will face the young Samurai Blue on Tuesday in their last match where a win will secure their place in Finals.

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Two goals in each half ensured Myanmar continue their perfect run in their qualifying campaign as they Macau 4-0 at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon.

Myanmar got off to a dream start when they scored as early as the second minute with Ye Min Thu finding the back of the net.

The second goal came in the 19th minute through Win Naing Tun, his third of the qualifying campaign after having scored twice in the 7-0 win over Timor-Leste on Matchday One.

Macau tightened their defence after conceding for the second time but their bid to find a way back into the match was to no avail as they failed to find a way past the Myanmar backline.

Velizar Emilov Popov's Myanmar finally broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute with Nang Tun scoring his second goal of the night, before Lwin Moe Aung, too, etched his name on the scoresheet four minutes from the end.


Japan turned on the power in the second half to beat Timor-Leste 6-0.

Fresh from their 8-0 win over Macau two days prior, Japan came into the Group I tie high on confidence but Timor-Leste, who were beaten 7-0 by Myanmar on Matchday One, put up a spirited resistance in the early stages.

The Southeast Asians, however, eventually fell behind to Kyosuke Tagawa's 24th minute effort but Japan were unable to find a second in the remainder of the first half.

The half-time pep talk seemed to have done the trick though as nine minutes into the second half, Japan struck again through Kubo Takefusa, before Yugo Tatsuta made it 3-0 on the hour-mark.

Boosted, Japan then found the net three times in seven minutes.

Kou Itakura scored his first goal of the qualifying campaign on 71 minutes, before Takefusa scored his second in the 75th minute before Ayase Ueda scored Japan's final goal of the night two minutes later.

Japan take on Myanmar in their final qualifying group fixture, while Timor-Leste will look to end their tournament on a high as they play Macau on Tuesday.

Photos: Myanmar Football Federation