Only a month after the 2021 season drew to a close, the 2022 season began. With the Mongolian football federation opting to divide the league into two halves, a Fall and Spring series. This is due to the harsh winters in Mongolia and also due to the fact that the 2021 season was delayed due to COVID-19, meaning issues with schedules.
The 2022 season got underway on 3rd November 2021, with two rounds of fixtures being played prior to the Winter Break.
The results of the first two round of games are below:
|Athletic 220||5-0||Tuv Buganuud|
|BCH Lions||0-3||SP Falcons|
|Khovd FC||2-6||Deren FC|
|Ulaanbaatar City||0-6||Khaan Khuns-Erchim|
|Deren FC||1-1||Athletic 220|
|SP Falcons||4-0||Khovd FC|
|FC Ulaanbaatar||5-0||BCH Lions|
|Ulaanbaatar City||4-1||Tuv Buganuud|
The second half of the season is to get underway tomorrow, Saturday 2nd April 2022, with all remaining fixtures set to be played in one time period.
Khovd FC and Tuv Buganuud FC are the new sides in the division, following promotion from The Mongolian First League, whereas Khoromkhon and UB Mazaalainuud were the two sides which were relegated after the 2021 season.
For those that may be unfamiliar with the league, it usually operates from April until October/November time. This is due to the Mongolian climate and weather being more extreme outside of this months. There are 10 teams in the league and will play 18 matches each. Meaning they play every team twice, once at home and once away. Totalling 90 games. Most teams originate from Mongolia's capital, UIaanbaatar, meaning six teams all share the MFF Football Centre as their stadium. The only exceptions are Khaan Khuns-Erchim who play at Erchim Stadium, Deren FC who play at National Sports Stadium, Khangarid who play at Erdenet Stadium and Ulaanbaatar City who play at the G-Mobile Arena. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All games were played at the MFF Football Centre for the 2021 Season with no spectators.
There is promotion/relegation within the Mongolian Football pyramid. Usually the two bottom placed teams are automatically relegated, whilst two are automatically promoted. With no relegation playoffs.
However, last season saw the bottom placed team automatically relegated to the Mongolian First League, with the 1st placed team from the Mongolian First League gaining automatic promotion. Whereas the team which finished in 9th place, entered into a relegation playoff with the second placed team from the Mongolian First League.
Athletic 220 FC won their second consecutive league trophy after winning what a tight tile race between 5 other sides. With only six points separating them. They won the league in the end by 5 points and considerably higher goal difference than the teams below them, should it have come down to that.
Whilst the top of the table was battling away, the same can't be said about the bottom, with Ulaanbaataryi Mazaalaynuud finishing rock bottom, failing to win a single game, collecting only three points and having -37 goal difference. The only other fight was who could potentially join them in being relegated, by finsihing in the relegation playoff spot. It was close between the three teams of BCH Lions, Khangarid and Khoromkhon, but ultiamtley it was the latter who fell second to last. Losing their place in the top flight due to Tuv Buganuud winning the promotion/relegation game after finishing second place in the Mongolian First League.
BCH Lions's Japanese player, Tetsuaki Misawa finished as the leagues top scorer, despite his teams low league positiion, netting 17 and assisting 5 in 16 games. Whereas Saikhanchuluun Amarbayasgalan of FC Ulaanbaatar finished the leagues best goalkeeper, boasting 8 clean sheets in 18 games.
Founded in 2016, City are a side which have quickly established themselves as one the top teams in the league. Despite the near miss of relegation in their first season, the club bounced back the following year, finishing second in the league and winning the MFF Cup. The following year, they couldn't quite match their feats in the league, finishing 6th. Although, they did win the Mongolian Super League. But it was in 2019, City finally won their first Premier League title. After finishing level on points with 12 time champions Erchim, the title was decided by head-to-head results between the two teams, which City had the better of. Stopping Erchim from winning their 5th consecutive title. With this title win, it allowed City to qualify for the AFC Cup for the 2020 edition for the first time. However due to Covid, the competition was cancelled and City never got to perform on the continental stage.
For the 2021 season Ulaanbaatar City finished in 6th place on 29 points and 11 points behind title winners Athletic 220. They won 9 games, drew 2 and lost 7.
Deren FC are club which were founded 13 years ago back in 2008. They are named after the Dutch company which built and constructed the MFF Football Centre, which is the Mongolian National teams stadium. The side spent a couple of years playing in lower leagues within the footballing pyramid, but were promoted to the Premier League for the 2015 season. Since then, they have remained in the top flight and have improved in terms of quality and attack year on year.
For the 2021 season, Deren finished 2nd in the league with 35 points, with 11 wins, 2 draws and 5 losses. Only 5 points behind champions Athletic 220. Baatar Usukh-Ireedui finished as the sides top goalscorer last season with 13 goals to his name
Prior to the resumption of the 2022 season, Deren played in a Super Cup match against champions Athletic 220. Winning 2-0 in an impressive performance to lift the trophy. Their first piece of major silverware
The Red Knights were founded in 2010 and in their first season they won the Premier League Title. The format of the league was slightly different then, with all teams playing each other twice and instead of having an out and out winner, the top 4 teams would enter the semi-finals and then finals respectively. FC Ulaanbaatar beat Ulaanbaatar University 1-0 in extra time to clinch their first trophy. Following this, the Red Knights have an interesting and unpredictable history in the Premier League, finishing second some seasons and in a relegation battle for others. However, 2020 proved to be a good year for the side, finishing second in the league, missing out on the title and an AFC Cup spot by two points. They scored 56 goals across 18 matches, with Batkhishig Myagmar scoring 16 and 21-year old winger Baljinnyam Batbold scoring 13.
Last season FC Ulaanbaatar finished in 4th, with 33 points, 9 wins, 6 draws and 3 losses.
This is the sides second consecutive season playing in the Premier League after being promoted as champions of the 2020 First League. The team were only formed four years ago back in 2018 after breaking away from SP Falcons. They started their football in the National Amateur Cup (essentially fourth division football) and have gained promotion up the leagues every year since 2018. Winning the Mongolia Second League for the 2019 season, the Mongolia First League for the 2020 season and gaining promotion to the Premier League for the 2021 season.
Their first season in the top flight saw them finish in 8th place and with 17 points. Just finishing outside of the relegation playoffs by goal difference.
Erchim are one of the most oldest and successful clubs in Mongolia football, winning the Premier League 10 times and have 12 trophies in total. The side qualified for the AFC Cup in 2017, which made them the first Mongolian club to participate in the competition. They have participated in the competition from 2017 to 2019, but have never made it past the group stage. In 2020 Erchim announced that they had merged with club Khaan Khuns Titem.
Erchim have always finished the league either in first or second position. But in the last two seasons, they have finished in 4th and 5th respectively. In the 2020 season, the side scored a whopping 64 goals (the best in the league) but still finished in 4th. In last years 2021 season, The Lightnings finished in 5th with 30 points, 9 wins, 3 draws and 6 losses.
Unlike other clubs in the league, Erchim was the first one to have their own stadium and continue to play in it. Due to 6 of the 10 teams in the Premier League all being located in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, they all play at the same stadium which is the MFF Football. Whereas Deren play at the National Sports Stadium, Ulaanbaatar play at the G-Mobile Arena, and Khangarid play at Erdenet Stadium.
Founded 25 years ago in 1996, Khangarid, otherwise nicknamed the Erdenets or Garudas, are a club from the Northern city of Erdenet. They have won the Premier League 4 times in their history, in the years 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2010. They have also won the Mongolian Cup 5 times in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2013.
In 2020 they finished 3rd in the Premier League, scoring 52 and conceding 24. Tortogtokh Enkh-Erdene and Gankhuyag Serodyanjiv both scoring 12 goals each to help their side win their highest finish for some years. However for their 2021 season, they finished in 7th and on 18 points. Only one point clear of a relegation playoff place.
They have spent some time in First League over the years, but look to have a good side at the moment that is well balanced both in terms of defence and attack, as well as youth and experience.
The 2020 and 2021 champions and league winners, it has been two years to remember for Athletic 220. As well as winning the league for the first time, they also secured their very first AFC Cup spot for 2021. However, the were unable to win a single game in the group stage, scoring just 1 goal and conceding 9 across the 3 games. They were founded five years ago in 2016 and started out playing in the Mongolia First League. In their first season, they finished runners in the league, gaining promotion to the Premier League alongside Goyo FC.
In 2021, Athletic won the league with 40 points. Winning 13, drawing 1 and losing 4. It was quite close towards the end of the season, as runners up Deren FC were pretty much on par with the side up until the final few games. Athletic winning their second consecutive title by 5 points.
Athletic will be looking to defend their title heading into this 2022 season. They have a good balance between upcoming talented youth players, but also experienced veterans in the side.
SP Falcons, otherwise known as Selenge Press Falcons, are a team based in the capital Ulaanbaatar and were founded in 2003. They have spent some seasons playing in other divisions, however have played in the Premier League for a number of years now. However, they have not managed to win any silverware in that time.
For the 2021 season, SP Falcons finished in a respectable 3rd place. Ending the season on 35 points, 11 wins, 2 draws and 5 losses. The same statistics as Deren FC, however they bettered the Falcons just slightly on Goal Difference.
Tuv Buganuud are a club that which was founded in 2018, and is supported by the local government of Töv Province, with the name Tuv Buganuud translating to Central Deer in English. In their first competitive season, the side competed in the Mongolian First League, finishing in 8th place with 4 wins, 5 draws and 9 losses. Narrowly missing relegation by two points. For the 2020 season, they finished in 4th, with 10 wins, 4 draws and 4 losses. Missing out on promotion by 7 points.
Last season, Tuv Buganuud finally achieved promotion to the Mongolia Premier League for the first time. They earned promotion by finishing runner-up in the Mongolian First League and then defeating Khoromkhon FC in a play-off series. Winning 4-3 in the first leg and then winning 2-1 in the second match. Ensuring their promotion and Khoromkhon's relegation
This will be their first ever season in the Mongolian Top Flight
Khovd FC are a team which was founded in 2018 and achieved promotion to the Mongolian National Premier League for the first time this season. The club have been knocking on the door of promotion for the last few seasons, finishing 5th in 2018, 4th in 2019 and 3rd in 2020.
For the 2021 season, it was battle for top spot between them and fellow promoted side Tuv Buganuud. However, it was Khovd who came out on top and secured their first place finish and automatic promotion to the MPL.
Current League Table
How to watch
In the past, MyCujoo showed all of the Mongolian Premier League games live and for free each week. However, MyCujoo have since formed into ElevenSports. The 2022 Mongolian National Premier League games are set to be shown on their website and app live and for free for those that live in the UK. Unsure of the accessibility of ElevenSports in other countries.