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MD1 - Group F: Mongolia 1-0 Myanmar

Ulaanbaatar: Aramaa Dulguun wrote his name in the history books as his first-half strike earned Mongolia their first-ever win in the second phase of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup as Michael Weiss’s side handed Myanmar a surprise 1-0 defeat in Ulaanbaatar on Thursday.

Dulguun’s goal in the 17th minute was enough to see off a Myanmar side that played out the final quarter of the game with 10 men after Maung Maung Lwin was sent off for a second bookable offence, leaving Mongolia to pick up a landmark victory.

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Mongolia’s win came against a Myanmar side that dictated possession and who should have taken the lead with a little over 16 minutes on the clock, only for Aung Thu to fluff his lines and angle his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.

It was a miss the visitors were to regret as, just seconds later, Mongolia had the ball in the net at the other end.

A long clearance from goalkeeper Batsaikhan Ariunbold put Myanmar on the backfoot, with the ball eventually finding Narmandakh Artag on the right, and his perfectly flighted ball behind the defence was smashed beyond Kyaw Zin Htet with Dulguun’s right-foot finish.

Myanmar continued to hold much of the possession and thought they had levelled the scores just before the half hour mark when Kyaw Ko Ko headed home, but the striker was judged to be offside as he moved to meet Aung Thu’s cross from the left.

Mongolia’s disciplined defending kept Miodrag Radulovic’s side at bay, leaving Myanmar to resort to long range efforts, with Lwin Moe Aung firing over the bar from well outside the penalty area in the closing exchanges of the half.

The same pattern of play continued into the second half as Myanmar sought the equaliser, but their hopes suffered a major blow when 21 minutes after the interval, they were reduced to 10 men.

An unnecessary, reckless challenge by Maung Maung Lwin left Serodyanjiv Gankhuyang sprawled on the ground and referee Arumughan Rowan handed the Myanmar midfielder his second booking of the game.

Despite the red card, Myanmar looked the more likely to score but when Zaw Min Thun’s close range header flew off target in the dying moments Mongolia knew their historic three points were safe.

Photos: Mongolia Football Federation

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