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MD3 - Group F: Kyrgyz Republic 7-0 Myanmar

Bishkek: Kyrgyz Republic revived their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers campaign in stunning fashion, overwhelming Myanmar to claim a 7-0 win at Dolen Omurzakov Stadium on Thursday.

Edgar Bernhardt netted a hat-trick, Alimardon Shukurov a brace and Gulzhigit Alyukulov and Valerii Kichin added goals of their own as Alexander Krestinin’s side recorded their biggest ever win on the international stage.

Kyrgyz Republic’s dream night takes them to three points from two matches ahead of next Tuesday’s visit to Mongolia, while Myanmar remain bottom of Group F after a succumbing to a third successive loss.

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Eager to recover from last month’s 1-0 defeat in Tajikistan, Kyrgyz Republic flew out of the gates, scoring inside five minutes through a terrific curling effort from Bernhardt, who found the top corner from 20 yards after being supplied by a pass from returning captain Kichin.

The Akshumkar had been held to just one shot on target in their previous match but they were back at their attacking best here, and lighting struck twice when Bernhardt headed home a second in the 10th minute, meeting Kairat Uluu Zhyrgalbek’s pinpoint cross after evading the attention of the Myanmar defence.

After earlier losses to Mongolia and Japan, Myanmar were now staring down the barrel of a third successive Group F defeat, and it was all but confirmed when the impressive 20-year-old Shukurov was left all alone in the penalty area, taking his time to stroke the ball past Kyaw Zin Phyo for his first international goal, and Kyrgyz Republic’s third for the night in the 20th minute.

Things got even worse for the visitors when another of Kyrgyz Republic’s youth brigade, 18-year-old Alykulov, picked out the bottom corner to add a fourth just six minutes later, putting the hosts well on the road to three points with less than a third of the match gone.

Nothing was going to plan for Miodrag Radulović’s side, a point further underlined when they carved out a gilt-edged chance for Si Thu Aung, who sent his shot straight at goalkeeper Pavel Matiash; a missed opportunity which was quickly punished when Kichin hammered in a brilliant long range goal to give the hosts a 5-0 lead at half-time.

The introduction of AFC Asian Cup hero Vitalij Lux shortly after the interval would have done little to encourage the visitors, and the German-based forward was quickly involved in two scoring opportunities as Kyrgyz Republic searched for more goals.

But it was Abdish-Ata’s Shukurov who notched the sixth, again finding space to send a low drive beyond Kyaw and equal Kyrgyz Republic’s record winning margin in the 71st minute.

That record would fall three minutes from full time, when Bernhardt calmly slotted a penalty kick to bring up his hat-trick after Viktor Maier was felled in the box, as Krestinin’s charges rounded out a complete performance in style.

Photos: Football Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic

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