Image property of the Mongolian Football Federation
Today reigning MPL Champions Erchim FC defeated 2018 Mongolian Cup winners Athletic 220 FC 4-2 to officially kick off the 2019 Mongolian football season.
While Erchim opened its season in February with home-and-away 0-3 defeats to to North Korean champions Ryomyong, this was Athletic 220's first meaningful match of the pre-season.
Erchim took the lead in the 17th minute through a Kh. Narateo strike. Erchim nearly took that scoreline into the locker room at half-time but Blue Wolves super striker Nyam-Osor Naranbold leveled in the 43-rd minute.
Japanese forward Tatsuya Nishio, last year's MPL Golden Boot winner, scored twice, once in the 70th and once 77th, to put the match out of reach for Athletic 220.
Despite being down, Athletic 220 continued to battle and earned a consolation goal through defender Baatar Ölzii-Od in the 91st minute.
This victory marks the 7th time that Erchim has won the yearly competition since its inception in 2011. The team's only defeat in the match came in the form of a 2-4 defeat to Ulaanbaatar City FC last season.
Will Erchim continue its league dominance this season? We will find out soon as the 2019 MPL season kicks off on 13 April.