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MD4 - Group F: Mongolia 1-2 Kyrgyz Republic

Ulaanbaatar: First half goals from Gulzhigit Alykulov and Mirlan Murzaev earned Kyrgyz Republic a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar on Tuesday as Aleksandr Krestinin’s side notched up back-to-back wins in the Asian Qualifiers on Tuesday.

The win followed four days on from a 7-0 win over Myanmar that put Kyrgyz Republic’s campaign back on track for the for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 after their opening loss to Central Asian neighbours Tajikistan last month and moves them on to six points from their opening three games in Group F.

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It took Krestinin’s team 14 minutes to take the lead with Alykulov side-footing the ball home from close range after Vitalij Lux had failed to convert following Murzaev’s driving run and cross from the right.

With nine minutes remaining in the half, Kyrgyz Republic should have doubled their lead when Murzaev found himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Enkhtaivan Munkh-Erdene, only to lift his lob over both the Mongolian goalkeeper and the crossbar.

But the visitors only had to wait a further six minutes to claim the second their performance warranted.

The Mongolian defence could only clear Edgar Bernhardt’s free-kick as far as 25 yards from goal and, although his shot was mishit, the ball fell at the feet of Murzaev and he took his time to place his attempt into the top corner.

The Central Asians would need that two-goal cushion in the second half as the home side bounced back from a disappointing opening 45 minutes.

Ten minutes after the restart referee Hussein Abo Yehia pointed to the spot when Valerii Kichin made contact with Mijiddorj Oyunbaatar in a vain attempt to clear the ball and, after more than a minute of deliberations, Norjmoo Tsedenbal slotted the ball low and into the bottom corner of Pavel Matiash’s goal.

Having found a way back into the game, Mongolia pushed for the equaliser. Turbat Daginaa headed wide on the hour mark and, three minutes later, Amaraa Dulguun steered his attempt off target after a cross from the left by Tsedenbal.

Despite the best efforts from the Mongolians, however, Kyrgyz Republic held on to maintain their challenge for a place in the next phase of qualifying.

Photos: Mongolian Football Federation

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