FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

We’re definitely underdog in our group: Myanmar boss Michael Feichtenbeiner

Khel NowKhel Now

October 18 2023
(Courtesy : AFC Media)

Michael Feichtenbeiner was not happy with the match’s result.

Myanmar head coach Michael Feichtenbeiner wants his players to view their upcoming clash with Japan as a chance to further improve after the Southeast Asians booked their place in the next phase of the Joint Qualification for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027™.

Myanmar were held to a 0-0 draw by Macau on Tuesday but will face four-time AFC Asian Cup winners Japan as well as DPR Korea and Syria in Group B of the second round after a 5-1 win in the first leg in Yangon on Thursday had put them in pole position to progress.

“I’m happy to go to the second round,” said the German. “I’m not happy with the result, we wanted to win also the second leg but today the Macau team was much better, especially in defending.

“In terms of fighting spirit they were well organised, always defending in numbers. They made it much more difficult for us to create chances, so big praise for the Macau team. They did well, they played very simple football, always long balls, so we had to be careful.

“The problem was that we couldn’t take full risk to win because I didn’t want a goal against, the main goal was to go through to the second round. One or two early goals from Macau and you never know, in football anything can happen.”

The victory means Feichtenbeiner’s side will meet Hajime Moriyasu’s side – who notched up a 2-0 win over Tunisia in a friendly in Kobe on Tuesday – on November 16 and the former Selangor coach is under no illusions regarding the magnitude of the task ahead.

“At the moment Japan is one of the best teams in the world, but from better teams you can learn,” he said. “We never give up easy but we are realistic. We have to learn.

“We have a lot of young players and they can enjoy these matches against Japan, and also DPR Korea and Syria. All three are much better in the ranking than us.

“We are definitely the underdog in this group, but we are still motivated to do one or two surprises. For this we can learn from the fighting spirit of Macau today.”

Macau put in an improved performance on home soil after conceding four times in the final 30 minutes of the first leg in Yangon to salvage some pride from the fixture, with head coach Lazaro Oliveira pleased with his team’s showing.

“We knew from the beginning it would be very difficult to qualify with this team because Myanmar are a very good side with very good players,” he said.

“But we tried to make a good game and to win this game. It was not possible to win, it’s a draw but it’s a good result for us, for the players, for the Macau association.”

For more updates, follow Khel Now on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and join our community on Whatsapp & Telegram.