MFF Confirms Five MNT Matches, EAFF Cup Details
It's an exciting time to be a fan of Mongolian football, particularly of the Blue Wolves. Earlier this week the Mongolian Football Federation officially announced five upcoming matches which is very likely the busiest schedule the teams has ever played in a month span.
Three of the matches are the first round matches for the 2019 EAFF Championship which were previously announced. As confirmed earlier, the matches will be played at the MFF Stadium in Ulaanbaatar, marking the first time that Mongolia has ever hosted any matches in the tournament.
However, new details were also released. All of Mongolia's matches will be played at 5:00pm local time. Dates were also confirmed with the team's fixture against Macau being played on 2 September, against Northern Mariana Islands being played on 4 September, and against Guam being played on 6 September.
The first match against Macau will likely prove critical as The Greens regularly top the group and advance to the next round. The match against NMI may be more important than it seems on the surface as Mongolia, Guam, and Macau will likely rely on their goal difference being padded against the non-FIFA minnows.
Head Coach Micheal Weiß also released his squad list for the tournament:
Amarbayasgalan Saikhanchuluun-FC Ulaanbaatar Batsaikhany Ariunbold-Erchim FC
Mönkh-Erdene Enkhtaivan-Athletic 220 FC Purev Tengis-Ulaanbaatar City FC
Munkh-Orgil Orkhon-Deren FC Daignaagiin Törbat-Athletic 220 FC Bayasgalangiin Garidmagnai-Deren FC Damindorj Bilguun-Deren FC Norjmoogiin Tsedenbal-Ulaanbaatar City FC Davaajav Battur-Erchim FC Batmönkh Uuganbat-Deren FC Sükhbat Dölgöön-Anduud City Club Artag Narmandakh-Ulaanbaatar City FC
Mönkh-Erdeniin Tögöldör-Erchim FC
Khürelbaataryn Tsend-Ayuush-Deren FC Baljinnyam Batmömkh-Deren FC Batboldyn Tögsbileg-Ulaanbaatar City FC Sündorch Janchiv-FC Ulaanbaatar Soyol-Erdene Gal-Erdene-Erchim FC Serodyanjiv Gankhuyag-Khangarid FC Tsagaantsoojiin Mönkh-Erdene-FC Ulaanbaatar Altansükh Temüüjin-Athletic 220 FC Baljinnyam Batbold-F.C. Ulaanbaatar Chin Bat-Erdene-Athletic 220 F
Batbay Khash-Erdene-Anduud City Club Maratkhan Jansyerik-Deren FC Nyam-Osoryn Naranbold-Athletic 220 FC Enkhbileg Purevdorj-Anduud City Club
Ten players on the roster will be looking to make their senior international debuts. One notable inclusion is striker Batbay Khash-Erdene who has been a revelation for Anduud City this season, currently leading the league with 12 goals with 7 matches remaining in the season.
Once notable absence is once again wunderkind Ganbold Ganbayar who seemed likely to make his debut for the senior side at home during the EAFF Cup matches but chances seem to have been squashed by the player's early return to Hungary from his loan at UB City.
Also officially announced were two away friendly matches to be played in the October 2018 FIFA window.
First Mongolia will travel to Singapore to take on The Lions at the small Bishan Stadium on 12 October. This will be the first-ever senior meeting between the two nations. However, the respective U-23 teams met in a 2-2 draw in 2016 AFC U-23 Championship qualification and in 2018 AFC 2018 AFC U-19 Championship qualification. In the latter match, Mongolia earned a 4-2 victory at a snowy MFF Stadium with Jansyerik Maratkhan scoring a hattrick and Ganbold Ganbayar rounding at the scoring with a late tally.
Four days later the team will travel to Laos to take on the 178th-ranked hosts at the New National Stadium. The two nations have not met at the senior level since a 1-1 draw in qualfiying for the 2014 Asian Cup on 2 March 2013.
Laos holds the lead in all-time play with two wins and a draw in three meetings.