Kuala Lumpur: Few players have had as big an impact on their teams qualification to the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 as Anton Zemlianukhin had in taking Kyrgyz Republic to their continental debut.

The 30-year-old shined the brightest for Kyrgyz Republic in their road to the AFC Asian Cup, bagging 10 of his country's 14 goals in the qualifiers as they pipped Myanmar and Macau to qualify from Group A alongside India.

Nationality: Kyrgyz Republic

Date of birth: 11/12/1988

Position: Forward

Current club: Atyrau (Kazakhstan)

Previous clubs: Abdish-Ata Kant (Kyrgyz Republic), Taraz, Aktobe, Kairat, Kaisar (Kazakhstan), Giresunspor (Turkey), Radnički Niš (Serbia), Sisaket, Sukhothai (Thailand), Ska Khabarovsk (Russia)

International Background

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

Three days later he opened the scoring against Sri Lanka to lead his side to an impressive 4-1 triumph. However, Zemlianukhin truly put on his scoring boots in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 qualifiers, netting four goals in the second round and adding six more in the decisive third round.

A decade on from his debut, Zemlianukhin is Kyrgyz Republic's all-time top scorer and a vital weapon for them in their first major tournament. In the qualifiers, only Saudi Arabia's Mohammad Al Sahlawi and UAE's Ahmed Khalil scored more goals than the 30-year-old.

Style of play

Despite his impressive scoring record, Zemlianukhin is rarely deployed as an out-and-out striker. Instead, he often plays in the hole behind the striker or out wide on the left.

His agility on and off the ball as well as the ability to strike from distance with either foot means Zemlianukhin is a threat on the opposition whether from inside or outside the box.

What to look for

Kyrgyz Republic aren't the only debutantes in Group C as they have been drawn with the Philippines who are also participating in the Finals for the first time.

Zemlianukhin and his teammates are aiming to make history, and a win on their maiden campaign will be widely celebrated.
Where and when to watch him

Kyrgyz Republic v China PR

Venue: Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain

Kick-off: January 7, 15:00 UTC+4

Kyrgyz Republic v Korea Republic

Venue: Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain

Kick-off: January 11, 20:00 UTC+4

Kyrgyz Republic v Philippines

Venue: Rashid Stadium, Dubai

Kick-off: January 16, 17:30 UTC+4

Source: the-afc.com