- Justin Grimm
Mongolia Earns Historic Friendly Victory
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A little over a month after Mongolia's historic qualification for the second round of the 2019 EAFF Championship, the team made more history today with a 4-1 victory over Laos, the first friendly victory in the nation's footballing history.
Mongolia fell behind in the 23rd minute off of a strike from Bounphachan Bounkon. However, the team was not rattled and responded through a Tsagaantsoojiin Mönkh-Erdene goal two minutes later. From that point forward, Mongolia dominated the match, scoring three unanswered goals before the final whistle. Artag Narmandakh scored his first goal international goal and eventual game winner to take the lead in the 73rd minute. Two minutes later, 19-year-old Deren FC striker Maratkhan Janseric scored his second goal in three games. The striker has translated his success at the youth level, which includes a hattrick against Singapore in 2018 AFC under-19 qualification, to the senior level. Talisman Nyam-Osoryn Naranbold scored his sixth international goal to round out the scoring and move into third place on the team's all-time scoring list.
The match marked the fourth times the two teams have met, with the last time coming in a 1-1 draw in 2013 as part of qualification for the 2014 AFC Championship.
Mongolia played its first friendly match after joining FIFA on 28 February 2000 away at neighbor Uzbekistan. That match ended with a crushing 1-8 defeat.
Mongolia has a short history of friendlies. After its defeat to Uzbekistan, the team did not play a single friendly until October 2017, almost 17 years later. However, since then new head coach Michael Weiss has stuck to his plan of gaining more frequent and diverse experiences for the national squad.
Since October 17, in fact, the team has regularly scheduled matches in the international windows, playing five friendlies in total.
Earlier this year, the team made other friendly history as it earned its first draw in a match away at Malaysia in March 2018 and made double history only a few days later as it hosted its first match at home and played its first non-AFC opponent, African side Mauritius.