Leeds United: Myanmar heat was a major factor, admits Phillips

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Kalvin Phillips said hot conditions had been a telling factor after Leeds United lost to a Myanmar National League All-Stars line-up in the first game of their tour to the Far East.

United were beaten 2-1 at the Thuwunna Stadium today, losing to a second-half penalty from striker Christopher Chizoba in humid temperatures in Yangon.

Kalvin Phillips

Kalvin Phillips

Temperatures peaked at around 36 degrees in the city and Phillips, who came off the bench for the last half-hour, admitted the weather had taken its toll.

Paul Heckingbottom’s squad arrived in Myanmar less than 24 hours before kick-off having made a 13-hour flight from England for their controversial AYA Bank tour.

“The weather’s ridiculous out here,” Phillips said. “It’s much hotter than in England where it’s always raining. It was tough and we struggled with it but hopefully we can do it again some time.”

Phillips was sent on with eight other substitutes as Heckingbottom changed his line-up for the last 30 minutes. Leeds were level at 1-1 following first half goals from Joseph Mpande and Samuel Saiz but Chizoba struck the winner soon after following a foul by Paudie O’Connor.

The All-Stars line-up, consisting of players from Myanmar’s top league, contained no household names but got the better of a young Leeds line-up.

Speaking during an on-pitch interview at full-time, Phillips said: “It’s a very good feeling to come here and play football. Myanmar are a very good team with a great fan base. It just goes to show how much being out here can help them.

“Your team are very good. They played very good as a team. They gave us a game and it was fun.”