Guam: Guam made a stunning start to their 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup joint-qualifying campaign on Thursday when the continental minnows defeated two-time AFC Challenge Cup finalists Turkmenistan 1-0 in the Group D opener.
An impressive attendance of around 3000 fans turned up at the Guam FA Stadium for the Preliminary Round 2 match in the Pacific Ocean island, which has a population of just over 180,000, and the home fans were treated to the opening goal after just 12 minutes.
And the hosts had Turkmenistan defender Serdar Annorazov to thank for the opener after the Altyn Asyr right back inadvertently put the ball into his own net.
With neither side able to add to the score-line in the remaining 78 minutes, Annorazov first-half error was enough to give Guam a rare victory in continental competition as Gary White’s side picked up their first three points of the joint-qualifiers.
The teams will compete according to a double round robin format, and the Round 2 qualification matches will be held from June 11, 2015 to March 29, 2016.
The group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) will advance to the 2019 Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
The next best 24 teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining slots (12 slots or 11 slots + 1 slot for the host) in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup finals.
Asian Confederation Football