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MD3 Preview - Group F: Crucial test for hopefuls

Kuala Lumpur: Mongolia’s defensive resolve will be tested when they face powerhouse Japan in their Asian Qualifier campaign on Thursday, while Kyrgyz Republic and Myanmar will be vying for their first win.

Mongolia began their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 qualifying campaign with a 1-0 win against Myanmar but then lost by a similar scoreline to Tajikistan, who had also beaten Kyrgyz Republic 1-0 in their opener.

Japan, meanwhile, sauntered to a 2-0 win over Myanmar in their opening match in Yangon.

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Mongolia have never played in the FIFA World Cup or the AFC Asian Cup Finals but playing against Japan can only boost the development of the game in the East Asian nation.

“Such a game will help promote the sport in Mongolia,” said Mongolia head coach Michael Weiss.

Matchday Three - Preview: Group F

With Japan expected to dominate, Mongolia will be counting on their defensive resolve to hold the Samurai Blue at bay, with shotstopper Ariunbold Batsaikhan set for a busy night at the Saitama Stadium.

Mongolia, though, have their strengths and Japan will do well to be mindful of their counter attacks, with flank players, Narmandakh Artag and Gankhuyag Ser-Od-Yanjiv providing the crosses and striker Mijiddorj Oyuunbaatar always a threat in the box.

Hajime Moriyasu’s Japan, however, will have high hopes of securing their second victory which will set them up nicely for the trip to Dushanbe, where they will face early group pacesetters Tajikistan on Tuesday.

Venue: Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama
Kick-off: 19:35 (UTC +9)


Kyrgyz Republic and Myanmar both desperately need to win when they face off at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium in Bishkek.

Both were left without a point at the end of last month's action, with Myanmar in a more drastic situation after having lost both their matches.

Kyrgyz Republic will be optimistic they will get points on the board, having defeated Myanmar 5-1 to seal their place in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, their debut appearance in the Continental Finals.

Myanmar's task is made harder by the absence of several key players, including forward Kyaw Ko Ko and midfielder Maung Maung Lwin.

Venue: Dolen Omurzakov Stadium, Bishkek
Kick-off: 20:30 (UTC +6)

Photos: Myanmar Football Federation

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