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The first round of the World Cup qualifiers has ended bitterly for Macao

Myanmar pummelled Macao 5-1 in the first round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers; the teams face each other again next Tuesday.

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Myanmar pummelled Macao 5-1 in the first round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers; the teams face each other again next Tuesday.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

The Macao men’s football team faced Myanmar in the first round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Thursday, at Yangon’s Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon. The match ended in a 5-1 defeat for Macao. 

While the SAR’s team – currently ranked 185 in the world – has played a few friendly games in the past months, a lack of preparation may have contributed to its downfall.

Myanmar (ranked 161) ultimately looked more composed both on and off the ball, and dominated the first five minutes of the match. While Macao’s Lam Ka Seng did manage to kick a ball into the box, no one was there to convert it into a goal.

[See more: What’s next for football in Macao?]

Ten minutes in, and the sides looked more evenly matched and were testing each other’s defence. Macao keeper, Ho Man Fai, made what appeared to be a comfortable save when Myanmar striker, Than Paing, aimed for the goal – but referee Pranjal Banerjee raised the outside flag.

Macao’s Cheong Hoi San then fouled Myanmar winger, Aung Thu, right outside Macao’s box. A good cross in the box from Thu and a header by Kyaw Soe Moe forced a save from the Macao keeper to keep the game level in the 29th minute.

[See more: Nine questions for Macao’s top centre forward Leong Ka Hang]

Myanmar took charge of the possession until the 35th minute, while Macao held a tight defence. A good cross came in the same minute from Myanmar left-back Hein Phyo Win to Moe Aung. But Aung missed yet another goal-scoring opportunity. 

By the 38th minute, Macao’s players were fending off constant attack. Then Myanmar left-winger Maung Maung Lwin curled the ball into the box, and Lwin Moe Aung made the score one-nil to Myanmar.

By half-time, Macao had struggled to make more than three passes. The home team was dominating the game and continued to do so in the second half.

Macao football team against Myanmar
Macao’s starting eleven, ready to face Myanmar in the first round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers

In the 51st minute, Myanmar was left two-on-two with two Macao defenders. But a sloppy touch from striker Than Paing brought Macao’s defence back in shape.

Macao made a counterattack in the 54th minute, with captain Nicholas Torrão volleying home the equaliser. The score was one-all and the SAR’s team seemed to regain its spirits.

But seven minutes later, as its player Chan Man tried to clear the ball from a corner, Myanmar’s Kyaw Soe Moe seized control and tapped the ball into the goal – giving the home-side team back its lead.

In the 64th minute, the home side played a few good one-two passes and Aung Thu took a curling shot in goal – but the ball was saved by a diving Ho Man Fai. 

Eighty minutes in, Myanmar’s substitute Aung Kaung Mann scored a header to make the score 3-0.

Then, just five minutes before the final whistle, Myanmar’s Nay Moe Naing and Lwin Moe Aung sealed the game with a goal each. The match ended 5-1 for the home side. 

[See more: 10 questions for Macao men’s football coach Lázaro Oliveira]

Macao’s coach, Lázaro Oliveira, has the chance for a do-over, when his team faces Myanmar again on 17 October – this time on its own home turf, the Macau Olympic Complex.

 

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