SCHOOLBOY LEADS MONGOLIA TO SECOND-EVER WIN
Mongolia chalked up only their second victory ever yesterday - nearly 10 years after the first. And they had a 17-year-old high school student making his debut to thank for the 2-0 win over Guam in the East Asian Championship qualifier.
After being held to a goalless first half, Ganbaatar Tugsbayar, who had a string of missed opportunities earlier in the game, beat keeper Blevins Lee with a turnaround shot from 12 yards seven minutes after the break. Skipper Donrov Lumbengarav doubled their lead eight minutes later with a close-range header.
'Before we came here our target was to get a win against Guam and I am very happy we were able to achieve that. We will play Guam again in the Asian Cup qualifier in October so this will be a huge psychological boost for us,' said Mongolia coach Lkhagvajav Dorjjav. 'We have a very young team with six players still studying in high school. I am sure they have learnt a lot from these two games.'
Mongolia's first victory - a 4-3 defeat of Macau - came in the East Asian Games in May 1993. None of the players who took part in that historic win was in the starting line-up yesterday.
But for Guam, the 200th team in the FIFA 204-strong world ranking list, the defeat against the Mongolians, who are widely regarded as the second weakest team in the tournament, was a bitter blow to the tiny island, still looking for their first win in international football. But coach Willie McFaul, who formerly played for Northern Ireland and Newcastle United, still praised his team. 'Since I've been in Guam  this was the best performance I've seen from this team but we were obviously disappointed by the result. Their opening goal got rid of the pressure for them and put it on our shoulders instead,' he said. 'We had chances but we didn't score. It could have been a different game if we had.'
A minute after Tugsbayar's goal, Guam had their best chance of the game when forward Danny Palomo burst into the penalty area after a defensive mix-up. But his weak shot was well saved by Jargalsaikhan Enkhbayar.