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  • Justin Grimm

T. Gantogtokh-The Solution to Mongolia's Scoring Problem


Gantogtokh (front) in action for FK Meteor Tabor against SK Ratibořské Hory. Image property of jcted.cz.


In the history of Mongolian football, the senior men's national team has played eighty-seven matches. Over that time, the team has scored just ninety-three goals, or an average of just under 1.2 goals per match.


Recently, even with the progress of the national team and football in Mongolia in general, the stats are even worse. Since the beginning of the decade, the Blue Wolves have played twelve matches. Over that same period of time, the team has scored just four goals. Yes, four. Aside from the historic 0-14 loss to Japan in 2021, the defense has not been the problem.


Over the other eleven matches since 2020, the team has given up an average of 1.36 goal per match, a respectable statistic for almost any nation in the world. Over those eleven matches, the team has held an opponent to one goal or fewer an astounding eight times.


It is clear that the team's greatest struggle is putting the ball in the back of the net. For a few years, it seemed like Mongolia had found its answer in Nyam-Osor Naranbold who now sits tied at the top of the all-time scoring chart. However, despite remaining in peak form in the Mongolian Premier League, the highly-decorated 31-year-old seems to have fallen out of favor in the national setup. He has not made an appearance for his nation is over a year and has not scored since June 2019. With Naranbold not getting any younger, it is time for Mongolia to find a new solution to its scoring woes.


That solution may just be 18-year-old Tuguldur Gantogtokh who is currently lighting up the scoreboard in Czechia.

Gantogtokh (Center) with SK Dynamo České Budějovice in March 2023. Image property of the club.


Gantogtokh was born in Mongolia and began his career in the academy of Arvis FC at age nine. He remained with the club for nearly a decade before moving to Czechia with his family in 2019. His parents had lived in the Eastern European country previously and decided to move back.


After arriving in the country, he joined the academy of local side FK Meteor Tabor. After dominating his age group with the club, he was invited to trial with SK Dynamo České Budějovice, the biggest club in southern Czechia and a member of the country's top division, in summer 2022.


Gantogtokh impressed the coaches during the trial and made the switch to the Bohemian side. The coaches particularly noted his shot power during the trial. After an initial settling period which included overcoming a language barrier, Gantogtokh is once again thriving. He has scored five goals for the under-19 team in the first five matches of the 23/24 season.


On 6 September 2023, he earned his first taste of first-team action, being included in the club's lineup for a friendly against LASK Linz of the Austrian Bundesliga. Starting on the bench, Gantogtokh made his debut for the senior side as a 78th-minute substitute for Patrik Hellebrand. LASK was the eventual winners 5-4.


Now that he has been included in the senior side, it is only a matter of time before he makes his league debut for the club or is loaned out for more experience.


So far, Gantogtokh has not been included in a national team set up since 2019 when he made four appearances in U17 AFC Cup qualification. The under-23 team has been assembled for two tournaments in September 2023 without the player making the roster.


When can we expect to see him in the Blue Wolves kit again? When can we see the dream combination of Ganbold Ganbayar and Gantogtokh forming an offensive duo? That answer is unclear but surely the player is on the radar of national team manager Ichiro Otsuka and the debut will come sooner than later.






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