Myanmar 3 Cambodia 0
Photo credit: Asean Football Federation
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Yangon: Myanmar edged closer to a spot in the Final Round of the AFF Suzuki Cup as they picked up their third win in a row in the Qualification Round with a dominant 3-0 victory over winless Cambodia on Thursday.
The hosts completely dominated the match at the Youth Training Centre in Yangon but they were frustrated by the Cambodians until close to the hour mark when David Htun crossed for Kyi Lin to head his side ahead.
Substitute Kaung Si Thu added a second from close range in the 65th minute and Pyaye Phyo Aung fired home a free-kick in stoppage time as Myanmar clinched a deserved victory which moved them back to the top of the qualification group with a maximum nine points from three games.
They only need to avoid defeat by more than two goals in their final game against Laos on Saturday to ensure that they advance to the Final Round.
Cambodia, meanwhile, ended a disappointing campaign without a point and at the bottom of the group after they suffered their fourth defeat in a row.
It was almost entirely one-way traffic in the first half as Myanmar, cheered on by their supporters, launched wave upon wave of attack on the Cambodian goal.
Kyaw Zayar Win had an early chance with a free-kick from 25 metres that flew just over the crossbar.
Htun then went close to catching out Um Vichet with a deft lob from the edge of the box in the 18th minute that had the Cambodian goalkeeper back-pedalling as the ball hit the top of his crossbar.
The best chance of the half fell to Zayar Win shortly after that as the ball was slipped through to him 10 metres from goal but he miskicked and put his shot wide of the post.
On the half-hour mark, Thein Than Win’s free-kick was glanced wide by Yan Aung Kyaw and Cambodian defender Lak Raksmey then did well to head clear as Aung Kyaw looked to get on the end of another free-kick.
With half-time approaching, Kyi Lin sent in a dangerous cross from the right that Vichet bravely punched clear as Zayar Win came bearing down on his goal.
Myanmar came out of the blocks quickly after the break and very nearly broke the deadlock 18 seconds after the restart when Khin Maung Lwin made a surging run down the left but put his low shot just wide of the far post.
Htun then sent in a cross from the right in the 50th minute for an unmarked Kyi Lin, who was unable to direct his glancing header on target.
Cambodia were largely restricted to brief forays up front for much of the game but they almost stole the lead against the run of play in the 54th minute when Prak Mony Udom free-kick from the right flank was headed narrowly wide by Khim Borey.
But the deadlock was finally broken in the 59th minute when the ball was slipped through to an unattended Htun on the right flank. The right winger had time to measure his cross and picked out an unmarked Kyi Lin who guided the ball past the helpless Vichet for his third goal of the tournament.
The home side had their tails up and they added to their lead six minutes later when Than Win slid the ball from the left across the face of the six-yard box to Si Thu who fired the ball in at the far post.
Than Win could have added to the lead shortly afterwards when he hit the left upright with a shot from a narrow angle while Kyi Lin missed an excellent opening in the 77th minute when he was sent clear and rounded the advancing Vichet only to fire over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.
But Phyo Aung would seal an emphatic win right before the final whistle sweetly curling a free-kick from the edge of the box into the top right corner of the net.