Kuala Lumpur: Myanmar and Vietnam played to a 0-0 stalemate, while Cambodia ended their 16-year winless run by defeating Laos 3-1 in Group A of the 2018 AFF Cup 2018 on Tuesday.
The result sees Myanmar topping the group on seven points, ahead of Vietnam on goal difference. The Golden Dragons will face already eliminated Cambodia in their final preliminary game, while Myanmar travel to Malaysia on Saturday in a match which will decide which team advances to the semi-finals.
Myanmar 0-0 Vietnam
Yangon: In front of a capacity crowd at the Thuwunna Stadium, it was the home side who looked to assert themselves on the game, dominating possession early but struggling to find a way through a disciplined Vietnam defence.
It took until the 26th minute for Antoine Hey’s side to record their first effort on goal with Aung Lwin Moe’s long range shot finding its way straight into the arms of Vietnam goalkeeper Dang Van Lam.
Vietnam's Nguyen Ahn Duc then missed a glorious opportunity for his third goal in as many games as he headed wide from a corner in the 32nd minute after finding space at the back post.
The Golden Dragons came the closest to breaking to deadlock in the 35th minute when Phan Van Duc rose the highest, but saw his header bounce back off the post as both teams finished goalless at half-time.
Bo Bo Hlaing had the first chance of the second half for Myanmar, but his effort from the edge of the area couldn’t beat Van Lam.
Antoine Hey’s side then somehow survived a flurry of attempts from Vietnam, with Htet saving a point blank effort from Phan, before following it up seconds later with another fine save to deny Nguyen Cong Phuong.
The visitors thought they’d found the opening goal with less than 15 minutes remaining when Quang Hai’s long range effort was parried away by Htet, only for Nguyen Van Toan to tap home the rebound.
But the Vietnamese celebrations were cut short as the goal was flagged for offside as the teams settled for a point.
Cambodia 3-1 Laos
Vientiane: A 1-0 win over the Philippines on December 21, 2002 was the last time the Angkor Warriors took three points in an AFF Cup match, but thanks to goals from Chan Vathanaka, Prak Mony Udom and Keo Sokpheng that streak has now ended.
Right from the opening whistle, Cambodia took the advantage and were rewarded in the 18th minute when a cross from Sath Rosib was headed home by Vathanaka for his second goal of the tournament.
Cambodia secured their second goal after the half hour mark when Saret Krya won a penalty after he was brought down by Laos goalkeeper Saymonalinh Paseuth in the box, and Mony Udom coolly slotted home the penalty to give Cambodia a 2-0 lead going into half time.
Cambodia’s domination continued into the second half, but unlike the first half they couldn’t make it count and they were given a scare when Laos scored with 15 minutes remaining through Somxay Keohanam.
However, Cambodia restored their two goal advantage when a delicate chip over the defence from midfielder Sos Suhana was played into the path of Sokpheng who lobbed Saymonalinh to make it 3-1.
The full time whistle brought about big celebrations in Phnom Penh as the Cambodian fans and players celebrated an historic win.
Sources: Asean Football Federation, AFP