AFF Cup: Myanmar's Avramovic happy as Vieira gives up on Suzuki Cup
Myanmar got their 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup qualification campaign up and running on Thursday after claiming a 3-1 win over Brunei at the New Laos National Stadium.
Following a goalless first half, Radojko Avramovic's charges broke the deadlock in the 48th minute when substitute Min Min Thu reacted quickest to stab home on the rebound, after Kyaw Ko Ko's initial effort had been saved by Azman Ilham.
Kyaw Ko Ko then grabbed a goal of his own six minutes later when he broke free inside the box after forcing his way past Ak Yura Indera Putera, before steering his shot into the back of the net to double his side's lead.
Brunei did manage to pull one back in the 78th minute when Adi Said latched on an excellent pass by Hendra Azam and took the ball round Thiha Sithu, before firing into the unguarded goal.
However, the White Angels went on to seal the win four minutes later after Kyi Lin did well to hold off his opponent and race onto Nay Myo Aung's through-pass before coolly lifting the ball in over the onrushing Azman.
The result -- Myanmar's first win of the campaign after a 0-0 draw against Timor Leste -- was enough to take them second in the standings, but former Singapore head coach Avramovic insists his side can get better.
"Of course, I'm happy with the result but our performance can still improve," he said. "The positive thing is that at least we were able to score a number of goals, whereas in the first game we were unable to put away the chances we created."
As for Brunei, they are no longer capable of finishing inside the top two after three defeats from three outings.
Meanwhile, Thursday's earlier game saw Cambodia produce a sensational comeback to beat Timor Leste 3-2 to keep alive their qualification hopes.
It was the Timorese who had drawn first blood in the 25th minute when Cambodia custodian Sou Vaty was unable to hold on to Diogo Santos' 25-yard freekick, allowing Anggisu Barbosa to smash home the loose ball.
And six minutes after halftime, they looked to be cruising to victory when Filipe Bertoldo made it 2-0 after meeting Diogo's right-wing cross with a brilliant back-heel into the bottom corner.
Nonetheless, just five minutes after being introduced on the hour mark, substitute Sok Chanrasmey reduced the deficit for the Cambodians when he was left unmarked inside the six-yard box to turn Prak Mony Udom's low cross into the back of the net.
Chanrasmey was at it again in the 78th minute when he perfectly glanced the ball into the bottom corner to level the scores, after Chan Vathanaka had pounced on a loose ball and floated a delivery onto his head.
With eight minutes left on the clock, Cambodia's remarkable revival was completed and Chanrasmey ensured that he would be the hero of the night, completing his hat-trick with an emphatic close-range finish after Vathanaka's header had come back off the bar.
Having seen his side throw away a comfortable lead, Timor Leste coach Antonio Carlos Vieira all but threw in the towel even though they still have a game remaining.
"No, I don't think we can qualify for the finals," the Brazilian said. "I don't believe in miracles. I believe in hard work and putting in a committed performance in order to get results. Based on that display, we didn't deserve to win and I don't think we have much hope of advancing."
The qualifiers resume on Saturday with Cambodia taking on Myanmar, while hosts Laos play Timor Leste. Two nations will win through to the 10th Suzuki Cup, which is co-hosted by Singapore and Vietnam from Nov. 22.