12/22/2018 6:16:03 PM (GMT+3)

Kyrgyz Republic will rely on Zemlianukhin's scoring prowess

Kyrgyz Republic will rely on Zemlianukhin

KOLKATA: Kyrgyz Republic, who are making their debut in Group C at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, will depend a lot on their striker Anton Zemlianukhin.

The 30-year-old, who often plays in the hole behind the striker or out wide on the left, and his team-mates are aiming to make history, and a win on their maiden campaign will be widely celebrated.

The central Asians have been drawn with the Philippines, who are also participating in the finals for the first time.

Zemlianukhin was his country’s main hope in the qualifiers, scoring 10 of his team’s 14 goals in the qualifiers as they pipped Myanmar and Macau to qualify from Group A alongside India.

Zemlianukhin made his debut for Kyrgyz Republic in 2007, but had to wait two years to break his international duck in a 1-1 draw with Lebanon in the 2009 Nehru Cup.

Three days later he opened the scoring against Sri Lanka to lead his side to an impressive 4-1 triumph.

However, Zemlianukhin showed his talent in the 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers, netting four goals in the second round and adding six more in the decisive third round.

Saudi Arabia's Mohammad Al Sahlawi and UAE’s Ahmed Khalil were the only two players who scored more goals than Zemlianukhin.(Source: the-afc.com)

Kyrgyz Republic Fixtures:
January 7: vs China PR (Al Ain)
January 11: vs South Korea (Al Ain)
January 16: vs Philippines (Dubai)