- Justin Grimm
Season Recap: 2021/2022 National Amateur Cup
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The 2021/2022 National Amateur Cup was held from 13-22 March 2022 at the MFF Football Centre. As has become the standard format, three groups of four clubs played a round-robin style schedule with the best clubs from each group advancing to the knockout stages.
Several familiar clubs participated in the tournament, including FC Kharaatsai, Soyombiin Barsuud, and Sonkhor FC. They were joined by some interesting challengers, including the Sukhbaatar Province team and Mörön City FC, both oddities as they hale from outside of the capital.
FC Kharaatsai and WARD FC met in the finals. WARD FC is a club of Manchester United fans that have also had success in the amateur Fans Cup. WARD seemed destined to win the cup after its 17-0 demolishing of Mörön City in the quarter-finals. However, FC Kharaatsai went on to secure the 5-3 victory. Both clubs have gained automatic promotion to the Mongolia Second League for the 2022 campaign.
Kharaatsai and WARD will not have much time to rest or enjoy their success with the Second League season kicking off four days after the Amateur Cup final, 26 March 2022.
Kharaatsai became a bit of a surprise champion. The club barely escaped the group stage as one of the two highest-ranked third-place finishers. The unconvincing results carried over into the knockout rounds. In the quarter finals it took a narrow 5-4 penalty kick win to advance past OMNI FC. After that match the team seemed to get its footing and scored nine goals to its opponents' four in the remaining semi-final and final matches en route to the championship.