Yadanarbon FC’s Nigerian defender Okpechi Happiness, a Myanmar National League champion with a little help from above.
Okpechi Happiness stands well over six-feet tall and is wearing a singlet vest that displays his bulging biceps. But as the grinning and God-fearing footballer sits down, one cannot help but sense a nominative determination at play in the central defender from Mandalay-based Yadanarbon FC.
A 2-1 victory over hosts Laos on October 20 saw Myanmar conclude the ASEAN Football Federation Cup qualification tournament without a single loss and sees them qualify for the full competition kick-off on November 22.
Myanmar Football’s crowd trouble has once again found them in trouble, as the Asian Football Confederation fined the Myanmar Football Federation US$24,000 (K24million) and threatened them that future games will be played behind closed doors if trouble rears its head again.
Myanmar coach Gerd Zeise “took his hat off” to his players who have qualified for the FIFA U-20 World Cup for the first time in the nation’s history after a Than Paing goal led Myanmar to victory 1-0 over favourites for the game the United Arab Emirates.