HOUSE OF THE WEEKmore
Yadanarbon retains MNL title
(Volume 26, No. 507)
The victorious Yadanarbon team celebrates at Thuwanna Stadium in Yangon on January 17. Pic: Hein Latt Aung
YADANARBON FC edged out Delta United FC and Kanbawza FC to win the Myanmar National League title last week, despite losing to Yangon United 2-0 in their final match on January 17.
Yadanarbon finished on 29 points, with nine wins, two draws and three losses, ahead of Delta on 26 points and Kanbawza on 24.
The win means Yadanarbon is still the only club to have won an MNL title, following their victory in the Myanmar National League Cup 2009 tournament in August.
“There are no secrets about how we managed to retain the championship title in this second season. We signed good players, we trained hard and we had an effective playing style,”
Yadanarbon’s technical director, Mr Robert Procureur, told The Myanmar Times after his side’s final match at Thuwanna Stadium.
It was a game in which Yadanarbon did not show their champion pedigree, losing to fourth-placed Yangon United.
Mr Procureur admitted that his team’s performance was not up to scratch in their final matches and the club was already preparing to lift their game in the next MNL competition.
“We will replace two players from the Ivory Coast and we will have to place more emphasis on developing our tactics to get ahead of the other football clubs,” said Mr Procureur.
Despite knowing they couldn’t win the title, Yangon United’s players seem to lift in front of the home crowd and could have had more than two goals at the end of the 90 minutes.
Striker Kone opened the scoring after just two minutes with a shot from the right side of the box and then he turned creator in the 44th minute, sending in a cross that forward Gildas expertly headed home from distance.
The Myanmar Football Federation (MFF) employed Thai referee Mr Sura Sriart to take control of the match, in the hope he could avoid the controversies that dog the local referees.
The decision got the thumbs-up from Mr Procureur.
“I think Sura Sriart’s performance was better than the referees in earlier MNL matches,” he said.
He also praised Yangon United for their strong defence and said they had also raised their skill level since the teams last met.
But Yangon head coach U Myo Hlaing Win said he was upset with some of Sura Sriart’s decisions.
“The MFF hired him hoping he will do a better job than Myanmar referees. But as far as I could see, he did a worse job than the local referees,” said U Myo Hlaing Win.
“But anyway we could beat Yadanarbon at our home ground Thuwanna Stadium after they beat us the first time around at Mandalay’s Ba Htoo Stadium and I think the fans are satisfied with our efforts in this match,” U Myo Hlaing Win said. “Also, our club owner U Tay Za really appreciated the support shown by our fans today, who filled their side of the stadium easily and made a lot of noise.
“We showed a lot of spirit today to beat Yadanarbon in the final match. It was a fantastic win for us,” said Mr Peter Butler, Yangon’s technical director.
On January 19, the MNL held its prize-giving ceremony at Sedona Hotel in Yangon. Yan Paing from Yadanarbon took out the best player award and K2 million prize, a fitting farewell for the striker, who is returning to the Myanmar League in March. Myo Min Tun from Yangon United won second prize, worth K1 million, and Moe Win from Kanbawza also received K1 million for being adjudged the league’s third-best player.
Champions Yadanarbon were awarded K5 million in prizemoney, while second-placed Delta received K3 million and Kanbawza K2 million. Eighth-placed Southern Myanmar FC were awarded the fair play prize.
Shwe Hlaing Win from Yangon United won the best young talent award, while Soe Min Oo from Kanbawza received K2 million for being the league’s leading scorer with 11 goals. The best referee title was awarded to U Win Cho.