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Myanmar coach unfazed by late Thai leveller

BANGKOK - Myanmar coach U Sann Win put on a brave face after a Thailand goal four minutes into second half stoppage time denied his side all three points in their Asean Football Championship 2007 opener in Bangkok on Friday.

Suchao Nutnum scored deep into injury time to cancel out Si Thu Win's 25th minute opener as the two teams shared the points in their first game of the tournament.

'Our players tried very hard and it was a good result for,' he said. 'The late goal was okay, it happens in football.'

Myanmar scored with virtually their first attack when Si Thu Win headed home Min Thu's cross and that goal looked to have been enough to give the 2005 Asean Championship semi-finalists an unlikely victory.

But the three-time champions salvaged a point thanks to Suchao's equaliser, which came after four of the six minutes of injury time added by officials, and the result was no more than the Thais deserved.

Chanvit Polchovin's side dominated the game and were continuously frustrated by the impressive Aung Aung Oo, who pulled off a string of fine saves until he had to be replaced early in the second half by Kyaw Zin Htet when he dislocated a finger.

That should have been a massive blow to Myanmar but the replacement keeper was rarely troubled and U Sann Win was equally unperturbed by the enforced substitution.

'It was no problem when our first choice keeper went off because our second keeper is also good,' he said. 'He is only 19 years old but he is still very good.'

Chanvit, meanwhile, was satisfied with a point and was not concerned at his team's inability to turn their dominance into goals.

'It was a very exciting game but we made one silly mistake and that cost us a goal,' said Chanvit, who had led his side to a moral-boosting win in the four-team King's Cup at the same Suphachalasai Stadium in December.

'I am not too disappointed as I am happy with the way the team performed. I knew Myanmar would defend and try and catch us on the counter-attack.

'We created so many chances but the pressure seems to get to the players when they are in front of the goal,' added the Thai coach.