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In-form strikers headline Turkmenistan squad

Ashgabat: Turkmenistan will arrive in Beirut with two of Central Asian club football’s in-form forwards, as well as a returning Ruslan Mingazov, after head coach Ante Miše revealed his squad for next Thursday’s Asian Qualifiers fixture against Lebanon.

Vahyt Oraszahedov retains his place in the travelling party for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 qualifying tie following a purple patch with Kyrgyz Republic champions FC Dordoi, while Altyn Asyr FC youngster Mihail Titov has earned a calli-up after showing strong form in Turkmenistan’s domestic Yokary Liga.

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Oraszahedov, who scored against Sri Lanka in the first of Turkmenistan’s Asian Qualifiers fixtures last month, has been in sensational form for his club, netting seven goals in last three matches - including an individual haul of four against Academy-Leader on September 21.

Titov (pictured below), 21, has thrust himself into national team calculations with a similarly impressive run of form for Altyn Asyr, netting a hat-trick against Köpetdag on Sunday to follow his goal against FK Merw a week earlier.

But while Turkmenistan have reason to be confident about their attacking options, arguably the most significant inclusion in Miśe’s squad is that of key midfielder Ruslan Mingazov, who returns to the national team after missing last month’s fixtures against Lebanon and Korea Republic through injury.

Mingazov (pictured below), the son of former Turkmen international Kamil Mingazov, proved his fitness by netting his first goal for Kazakhstan’s FC Irtysh in their 4-2 win over Shakhter Karagandy on Saturday.

Turkmenistan have three points from their opening two Asian Qualifiers fixtures, after their 2-0 win in Sri Lanka was followed by a home defeat by the same margin against Korea Republic.

Miše’s side will face Lebanon in Beirut next Thursday, before travelling for an international friendly against Kuwait on October 15.

Turkmenistan squad

Mammet Orazmuhammedov, Batyr Babayev, Rahat Japarov, Mekan Saparov, Shohrat Soyunov, Abdy Bashimov, Annagulyyev Guychmyrat, Gurbanguly Ashirov, Serdar Annaorazov, Serdar Geldiyev, Vezirgeldi Ylyasov, Resul Hojayev, Yhlas Magtymov, Merdan Gurbanov, Ruslan Mingazov, Arslan Amanov, Amir Gurbani, Mirza Beknazarov, Vahyt Orazsahedov, Altymyrat Annadurdyyev, Didar Durdiyev, Murat Yakshiyev, Mihail Titov.

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