Phnom Penh: The action was every bit as intense as the heat but in the end, Myanmar earned a well-deserved 1-1 draw against Indonesia in their opening game of Group B of the 2019 AFF U22 Cup 2019 at the National Olympic Stadium on Monday.
A goal in each half for either team settled matters as the group remained as open as it had started.
Indonesia struggled at the start to withstand the pressure from Myanmar. In contrast, the home side dominated their opponents as they seemed eager to put the huge defeat they suffered against the same side in a friendly last year behind them.
Showing more creativity at the centre of the park, it did not take Myanmar long to carve out the opener in the 13th minute with Myat Kaung Khant unleashing a curling shot as he made good on the hardwork off Hein Htet Aung.
With the heat not showing any signs of letting up, Myanmar continued to press their opponents but with Kaung Khant missing a grounder, it handed Indonesia the initiative.
And with just seven minutes remaining of the first half, Indonesia drew level with Rachmatrianto nodding in the corner from Gian Zola Nugraha.
The second half saw Indonesia making several positional changes as they pushed forward in search of the winner.
Zola again provided the corner in the 55th minute but Andy Setyo Nugroho’s header went well over the crossbar.
As Myanmar began to slow down soon after, Indonesia took more control of the midfield. But Myanmar managed to fend off the onslaught as Indonesia were left frustrated.
Myanmar head coach Velizar Popov said: “The result is not important. And the first match in any tournament is difficult. But I am happy with the performance where we played a high pressure game to pick up the one point.”
“As I had predicted, Myanmar played a pressure game. It took us a while but we managed to adapt. But we made the mistake that led to Myanmar scoring against us. We need to improve," said Indonesian head coach Indra Sjafri.
Indonesia will next face Malaysia on Wednesday, while Myanmar take on Cambodia.
Myanmar 1-1 Indonesia
Group A (Local Time)
Philippines v Thailand (15:30)
Timor Leste v Vietnam (18:30)
Sources: Asean Football Federation, Football Federation of CambodiaSource: the-afc.com