Singapore: An understrength Singapore have kicked off their AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 campaign in winning fashion with a pulsating 3-2 victory over Myanmar.

In front of a sold-out crowd at the Jalan Besar stadium, it was a Lions side missing the injured Ikhsan Fandi and Adam Swandi as well as the suspended Irfan Fandi and veteran keeper Hassan Sunny that came from behind to claim the win.

The impressive Maung Maung Lwin, who grabbed a brace on the night, gave the visitors a 34th minute lead that was cancelled out by a late first half strike from Ilhan Fandi to send the teams to the break level at 1-1.

A first international goal from Shah Shahiran four minutes after the restart put the Lions ahead and, after Maung Maung Lwin had restored parity in the 66th minute, it was Shawal Anuar’s 74th minute strike that won it for Singapore.

After what was a very tight opening half an hour that saw few chances of note, the match suddenly sprang to life with a furious final nine minutes before the break that began with Myanmar winning the ball back deep in their own half, Aung Kaung Mann sprinting free and releasing Maung Maung Lwin who slotted home between defence and keeper to hand his side a 34th minute lead.

Then came a dramatic series of events that saw Ilhan Fandi seemingly knocked out cold after a 42nd minute collision with the visiting keeper, Myo Min Latt, only to make a rapid recovery, re-enter the pitch and then almost immediately get his head on the end of a 45th minute cross from Christopher van Huizen to send the teams to the break locked at 1-1.

Things continued at a lively tempo after the restart with firstly Ilhan fluffing a massive chance just 40 seconds into the period as he tamely shot straight at goalkeeper Myo Min Latt but it was a moment the Myanmar custodian will hope to forget that saw the hosts take the lead in the 49th minute as a regulation shot from distance from Shah somehow went into the goal off his hands to make it 2-1 to Singapore.

Van Huizen then put in a fine, last-gasp, challenge to prevent what looked like a certain Myanmar goal in the 57th minute before the home keeper, Zaiful Nizam, palmed away a goal bound shot from Maung Maung Lwin on the hour.

There was little he could do though to prevent Myanmar getting back on level terms in the 66th minute as another poor clearance from the hosts saw the ball fall straight to Maung Maung Lwin who swivelled instinctively and flashed his shot past Zaiful to make it 2-2.

The game was becoming an end-to-end affair as once again Singapore went back in front in the 74th minute as a simple long punt from Zaiful was well controlled by an onrushing Shawal who did well to bring it down and then fire into the far corner to put the Lions 3-2 to the good.

A tense final spell saw Myanmar go a man down with Nanda Kyaw shown a straight red card after an 81st minute scuffle before four minutes later substitute Win Naing Tun pushed an effort across the face from a dangerous position inside the box and then a stoppage effort from the visitors once again flashed dangerously wide as a thrilling content ended with the narrow Singapore win.