Guam beat India 2-1 on Tuesday as the 174th ranked nation in world soccer caused a huge upset in a qualifier for the 2018 World Cup.
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The tiny Pacific Island nation governed by the United States of America has long been known for its love of the NFL and Major League Baseball but perhaps soccer will now be the up and coming sports among its 165,000 citizens. To put that into context, India has 1.25 billion citizens.
Talk about David vs. Goliath…
Current LA Galaxy defender AJ DeLaGarza lined up for Guam and alongside him was former D.C. United and San Jose Earthquakes defender Brandon McDonald who scored the opening goal of the upset in Hagatna in front of 3,277 fans. A handful of other players from the NASL, USL and across collegiate soccer in the U.S. were also involved for Guam.
Guam is ranked 33 places below India but have now won both of its opening World Cup qualifiers after beating Turkmenistan 1-0 last Thursday.
Those results leave them top of Group D in the second round of qualifying with six games to go in this round. If they qualify for the third round, then 12 teams are split into two groups and the top two teams from each will qualify automatically for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The two third-placed teams will play in a play-off to see who will represent the AFC in the inter-confederation playoffs.
Guam has a long way to go as the likes of South Korea, Japan, Australia and Iran stand between them and qualification for the 2018 World Cup.
That said, for a nation which has the same population as Springfield, Missouri and only joined FIFA in 1996 it is quite the achievement.