Yangon (26 May 2017) – An old football rivalry will be renewed on Saturday between two of the best teams in Myanmar’s professional league.

In a much-anticipated match of the Myanmar National League, longtime rivals Yadanarbon FC and Yangon United will meet in Mandalar Thiri Stadium on Saturday.

Yangon has already beaten Yadanarbon this season in the first meeting on their home field by a score of 2-1.

After week 14 of the MNL Max Cement 2017 season, Yangon United remains in first place with 36 points, followed by Shan United with 32.

But Yadanarbon, the defending champion, is not far behind in third place in the MNL Max Cement standings, and sits only one point behind second place Shan United.

Even though four-time champion Yangon United did not lose a match from week one to week 14 this year, Yadanarbon’s coach said they were properly motivated to take on their longtime rival on their home field.

” We must win. We have to try to reduce the points. Chances never come two times. We must win. We have talented players” said Yadanarbon coach Rene Oscar Desaeyere .

“I believe that they will show their best performances on our home soil “.

There are 12 teams who will be competing against each other in home and away matches, with Yangon and Yadanarbon among the strongest of the teams.

Both teams are former MNL champions, Both teams have won the MNL championship four times. The two teams are original founding members of the MNL

Their rivalry has produced closely contested matches. In their previous five meetings, Yadanarbon has won three times and Yangon has won twice, with the winning margin of only one goal in all five matches.

Yadanarbon’s players said they want to improve their record in order to catch up with Yangon in the standings.

“This match is very important for us. If we lose, we will despair. If we win coming match, the rivalry will still be alive. That’s why we will play very hard.” said Yadanarbon winger Thet Naing.

If Yadanarbon wins Saturday’s contest, it would mar the unblemished record of Myo Min Tun, the coach of Yangon United, who has never lost an MNL match and knock out competition (Myanmar’s Second-tier club competition) since he became Yangon United coach last year.

Both teams have strengthened their lineup by bringing in players during the summer transfer window. Yadanarbon called Nigerian striker Patrick Asare and Yangon United brought back Brazilian striker César Augusto Hermenegildo. César Hermenegildo, who played for the Myanmar National League as recently as two years ago,
was the top goal scorer in the MNL three years in a row, in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Yet, chances for Yadanarpon United seem brighter, as they will host their main rival who will be hit a big blow by the missing of five key players. The visiting side will also miss David Htan who is out of the match for a game suspension due to three yellow cards shown, while four key players are suffering from injuries.

” Five players may not appear,that will be difficult for us. But I will try for the fans and to maintain our record” said Yangon United coach Myo Min Tun.

The rivalry between these two teams has sometimes become intense, especially among the fans, but officials said they are prepared to keep the kicking and the scoring on the field and not in the stands.

“Whenever they meet, the game is exciting, and the fans eagerly support their teams. MNL officers and Yadanarbon FC team will take care to avoid the fans fighting each other.
The police also will be on hand to keep order”, said Aung Thu Myint, Security director of MNL.

The match will be broadcast live on MRTV and For Sports Channel at 4 pm.