Guam overcome first leg defeat

Photo: Guam FA
Guam went into their second leg, first round World Cup qualifier against Bhutan knowing that they needed to turn around a 1-0 defeat from the first leg. Failure to do this would see them eliminated from the World Cup and the Asian Cup. 

Guam knew what was needed

Guam knew what they had to do to qualify for the next round of World Cup qualifying and went about their business in a professional manner. From the kick-off, they had Bhutan on the back foot, as Bhutan (according to their manager) struggled to cope with the heat.

It still took a while for the first goal to arrive, and when it did I missed it by going to the toilet, luckily for me, mycujoo offers you the chance to skip back and see missed goals. Shortly after the first goal went in, Guam quickly followed that up with a second to put them ahead in the tie on aggregate.

This meant Bhutan now had to open up, in search for a goal which would swing the tie back in their favour on away goals. Unfortunately for Bhutan as they pushed out, it left them more exposed. Guam sucker punched them with a third goal, and you could visibly see the confidence sink out of the Bhutan side at that moment.

They were done, and so it proved to be, as Guam went on to score another two goals. Guam captain Jason Cunliffe scored a hat trick, but the goal he didn't score would have been the best of the bunch as he shot from around 30 yards belted off the bar. The side did though add a fifth very late on to make it look like a hammering.

At the final whistle, Guam's players and fans celebrated wildly, and Bhutan's sank to the floor. I don't think many fixtures will show the vast difference of countries who compete in Asia, from little Bhutan in the Himalaya mountains to Guam, an exotic island governed by the US. The conditions for each side away leg were vastly different to climates they're used to.

Bad for Bhutan

The way the AFC have qualifying for the World Cup and Asian Cup, any side losing in the first round are eliminated from both competitions. That is the 2022 World Cup, and the 2023 Asian Cup, Eliminated in 2019 - 3 and 4 years before the start of each competition.

The AFC should look closely at this because it would be better to have the smaller sides more involved even if they won't make much of a dent in qualifying in the short term, a lack of football doesn't help anyone. Hard luck to Bhutan, but Guam won't mind that right now as they push onto the next round. 

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