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Tiebreaker Times

Myanmar ends Azkals’ two-year reign as Peace Cup Champions

The Myanmar National Football team survived one-hundred and twenty-minutes of grueling football that saw various yellowcards, stretchers, on-court arguments to trounce defending two-time Philippine Football Federation Peace Cup champions the Philippine Azkals, 3-2, in extra time.

The Azkals would concede the first goal of the game in only ten minutes, after a volley from Myanmar player Lee Kaw Kaw managed to hit the net meters before the penalty box. Though the Azkals would control possession for the remainder of the half, the Filipinos would still be unable to equalize, with Myanmar finding ways to stifle the Filipinos’ counter-attack on the wing. Consecutive setpieces headed by Phil Younghusband would come close to hitting the net, but none would sail past the line.

The Azkals would finally tie the game during the 50th after a goal from Daisuke Sato, charging all the way from the back to join in on the attack would hit the net. Another goal from a successful penalty kick by Phil Younghusband would put the Azkals on top, 2-1. With Myanmar failing to rebuild their offense, the Azkals were starting to look geared to receive the trophy once more. A goal by Simone Rota in the final minutes was ruled as offside, giving Myanmar the chance to take back the game.

True enough, just as the game clocked its 90th minute, a sneaky header from Min Min Htut would put Myanmar to 2-2, just as added time was announced. With the Azkals unable to pull-off the last minute goal, the score would remain unchanged at 2-2 just as the 94th minute ticked through.

After another couple of near-goal from both sides, Myanmar’s Soe Min Oo would manage to get in position for the coveted third goal around the hundredth minute to give back Myanmar the lead once more at 3-2.

The second half saw would see another barrage of near-goals from the Azkals. With time starting to expire, the Azkals would depend on Martin Hartmann to get the equalizing goal. However, two attempts in the final seconds, a volley from the set piece and a free kick just a couple of yards from the penalty box would yield no points, with Myanmar keeper Thiha Si Thu thwarting the first attempt and the second attempt sailing past the goalpost. A last second volley from Sato after receiving the ball from a corner kick would however meet the hands of the Myanmar goalkeeper.

The booters from Myanmar would be the ones storming the field in celebration just as the final horn sounded off.

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