Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Vientiane: It was honours even as ASEAN sides Laos as Myanmar played out a 2-2 draw in the opening Group G match in the second round of 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup joint-qualifyiers, with three of the four goals at the National Stadium in the Laotian capital coming in a four-minute spell at the end of the second half.
Yangon United defender Zaw Min Tun, who set a Myanmar transfer record when he moved from Magway to Yadanarbon in 2012, opened the scoring with four minutes of the first half left to play before two goals in a two-minute spell from Khampheng Sayavutthi inside the final ten minutes looked to have turned the match in Laos’ favour.
Sayavutthi, who made Laotian football history when he scored his country’s first ever AFC Challenge Cup goal with a superb bicycle kick against Turkmenistan in the final edition of the tournament last year, drew the home side level from the penalty spot in the 81st minute and looked to have sealed all three points for Thim Xad with his second of the match two minutes later.
However, Laos’ lead would last just two minutes with Kyaw Zayar Win earning Myanmar a share of the spoils when the Kanbawza midfielder struck an 85th minute equaliser for Radojko Avramovic’s side.
The teams in Round 2 will compete according to a double round robin format, and the Round 2 qualification matches will be held from June 11, 2015 to March 29, 2016.
The group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) will advance to the 2019 Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
The next best 24 teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining slots (12 slots or 11 slots + 1 slot for the host) in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup finals.