A late Le Cong Vinh goal pushed Vietnam past Myanmar 2-1 in AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 Group B action on Sunday night.
Just over 20,000 fans were in full voice at Yangon’s Thuwanna Stadium, including hundreds of Vietnam supporters who filled the away end.
The first 20 minutes presented few clear chances on goal, but both teams found their chances and the hosts made several big clearances to the delight of their supportive home crowd.
Myanmar’s luck ran out in the 24th minute however, when Nguyen Van Quyet cooly slotted home from inside the penalty after a picture-perfect pass from Luong Xuan Truong.
The hosts nearly responded just a minute later when Win Naing Soe dribbled similarly deeply into the Vietnam final third before his shot went wide over the net.
Myanmar struggled to keep up with the 2014 semifinalists, frequently committing unnecessary fouls. Midfielder Ye Ko Oo was perhaps lucky to not see a second yellow card for a high kick late in the first half after receiving his first caution in the 36th minute.
Vietnam looked close to making it 2-0 in the 62nd minute until Van Quyet was denied from deadly distance by Myanmar goalkeeper Kyaw Zin Phyo.
The packed stadium exploded in the 73rd minute when Aung Thu slammed in the equaliser from the top of the penalty arc, with substitute Myo Ko Tun providing the priceless assist.
That goal inspired Myanmar to push for a game-winner, and Maung Maung Lwin’s hearty shot in the 79th minute required care by Vietnam goalkeeper Tran Nguyen Manh.
The Golden Stars found themselves back in the lead just moments later as captain Le Cong Vinh chipped in from close range, sending visiting fans into a frenzy.
Lwin found himself alone in front of the Vietnam net in the 85th minute, but his shot went straight toward the goalkeeper.
The result leaves Vietnam tied with Malaysia on points but trailing on goals scored, with Cambodia in third place and Myanmar in fourth.