AFC Asian Cup 2019: Team Preview Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan players are a happy bunch after attaining qualification for the 2019 Asia Cup. Competing at the highest level in Asia against the mighty Koreans and the Chinese team, the Kyrgyz would look to force them into a physical battle in their group matches.
Kyrgyzstan makes their tournament debut at the Asian Cup this year. The White Falcons had a great qualification campaign where they dropped only two games to Australia to finish in the third spot in the second round of the group stages. In the third qualification round, they suffered their only defeat at the hands of India to finish in the second place to secure their spot in the Asia Cup.
Anton Zemlianukhin has contributed significantly to his side‘s qualification in the Asian Championship registering 10 goals during the qualifiers. He, along with his side, would aim to put up an impressive performance in Emirates 2019.
Though Aleksandr Krestinin‘s team played just nine matches in 2018, their performance has surpassed the expectations of the nation. Their 2-1 victory over higher-ranked Syria and India would be a massive boost to the confidence of his players before the start of the tournament. They managed four victories and four defeats with one draw against Palestine.
2015 Kyrgyz players of the year award winner Anton Zemlianukhin continues to remain a standout performer for the Central Asian Nation. His goals during the qualifiers helped Kyrgyzstan to secure a spot in Emirates 2019.
Mirlan Murzaev plays for Somaspor Kulübü in the Turkish amateur league. An incisive midfielder he has scored eight goals in 35 appearances for his country.
Monday, 07 January 2019: Kyrgyzstan (91) vs China (76) - Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain at 16:30 IST.
Friday, 11 January 2019: Kyrgyzstan (91) vs South Korea (53) - Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain at 21:30 IST.
Wednesday, 16 January 2019: Kyrgyzstan (91) vs Philippines (116) - Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium, Dubai at 19:00 IST.
The Central Asian team played in 2009 against China and got humbled 0-3 in that encounter. The White Falcons look forward to making a promising start in the tournament when they face them in their opening game. They have never played against Korea and would find it hard to overcome a technically sound Korean team.
Kyrgyzstan encounters a formidable challenge against the Philippines National team after suffering a double defeat to them in 2016. With their present form, they are likely to earn their first victory and take on the mighty Australians in the round of 16.
Average Age: 26 years
International Caps: 430
International Goals: 39
Head Coach: Aleksandr Krestinin (Russia)
Goalkeepers: Pavel Matyash (Unattached), Kutman Kadyrbekov (Dordoi Bishkek), Valery Kashuba (Dordoi Bishkek)
Defenders: Valery Kichin (Yenisey Krasnoyarsk), Tamirlan Kozubaev (Dordoi Bishkek), Mustafa Iusupov (Dordoi Bishkek), Aizar Akmatov (Alga Bishkek), Daniel Tagoe (Chittagong Abahani)
Midfielders: Pavel Sidorenko (Dordoi Bishkek), Tursunali Rustamov (Alga Bishkek), Aziz Sydykov (Dordoi Bishkek), Edgar Bernhardt (GKS Tychy), Bekzhan Sagynbaev (Dordoi Bishkek), Odiljon Abdurakhmanov (FC Alay), Murolimzhon Akhmedov (Dordoi Bishkek), Kairat Zhyrgalbek Uulu (Dordoi Bishkek), Bakhtiyar Duyshobekov (Bashundhara Kings), Farhat Musabekov (Dordoi Bishkek), Anton Zemlianukhin (Ilbirs Bishkek), Akhlidin Israilov (Unattached)
Strikers: Mirlan Murzaev (Somaspor Kulübü), Ernist Batyrkanov (Dordoi Bishkek), Vitalij Lux (SSV Ulm)