Four-time champions Singapore came from a goal down to make a winning start to their challenge for the 2022 Asean Championship with a 3-2 win over Myanmar at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday.
Shawal Anuar hit the winner for the Singaporeans, who last secured the title in 2012, 16 minutes from time in the Group B clash after Maung Maung Lwin’s 34th minute opener was cancelled out by Ilhan Fandi’s header on the stroke of halftime.
Shah Shahiran’s strike from distance put Singapore in front three minutes after the interval only for Maung Maung Lwin to score again, pulling Myanmar level after a 66th minute mistake by defender Ryhan Stewart.
Shawal capitalised on a long punt forward by goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam to thump his shot past Myo Min Latt to seal the win for the Singaporeans, with Myanmar playing out the last nine minutes with 10 men following defender Nanda Kyaw’s sending off.
Singapore are third in Group B after their opening victory, level on three points with Vietnam and trailing Malaysia, who saw Faisal Halim score twice in a 5-0 victory over Laos as Kim Pan-gon’s side secured a second win in a row.
Argentina-born Sergio Aguero gave the Malaysians the lead in the 29th minute at Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur but the 2010 winners had to wait until the second half before making the game safe.
Goals in the 65th and 68th minutes from Faisal gave Malaysia control of the game and took the Terengganu midfielder’s tally to three in the opening two matches of this year’s competition.
Haqimi Azim added the fourth 13 minutes from time and Stuart Wilkin completed the rout in the 87th minute.
The opening rounds of the Asean Championship, featuring the top 10 nations from across Southeast Asia, will continue until Jan. 3 with the first two finishers in each group advancing to the knockout rounds.
The semi-finals will be played on a home-and-away basis on Jan. 6 and 9 with the final to be held on Jan. 13 and 16.
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