Guam drawn in Group D of World Cup Qualifier

Guam drawn in Group D of World Cup Qualifier

[April 14, 2015 – Harmon, Guam] FIFA World Cup fever spiked for about an hour during Asia’s Round 2 draw for the 2018 edition of the tournament, streamed live from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia via the Asian Football Confederation Web site.

Drawn with Guam in Group D are I.R. Iran, Oman, India, and Turkmenistan. Matches will begin in June through to March next year.

“It will take the support of the entire community in Guam and supporters abroad for the team to be successful in Round 2 of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers,” said Richard Lai, president of Guam Football Association. “For the first time, Guam qualified automatically for Round 2 of the World Cup qualifiers and the team is at a level that can fully compete with the countries in the group. I am proud of the work of the entire GFA organization, including all players – past and present – who have helped Guam achieve what is has to date.”

The top 34 countries in Asia – including Guam – were joined by six winners from the Preliminary Round fixtures. The 40 countries were then divided into eight groups for Round 2. Resulting groups are:

• Group A: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Timor-Leste, and Malaysia

• Group B: Australia, Jordan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Bangladesh

• Group C: China, P.R., Qatar, Maldives, Bhutan, Hong Kong

• Group D: I.R. Iran, Oman, India, Turkmenistan, Guam

• Group E: Japan, Syria, Afghanistan, Singapore, Cambodia

• Group F: Iraq, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Chinese Taipei

• Group G: Korea Republic, Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar, Laos

• Group H: Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Philippines, DPR Korea, Yemen

“Now that we’ve learned of our opponents in the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, the real work begins for the players and staff,” said Gary J. White, Guam men’s national team head coach. “Being in this stage of qualification is a first in Guam’s football history; however, by no means are we satisfied with automatically qualifying for this round. We will go into every match to compete and play a high level of football that every player in Guam’s training squad is capable of playing.

“With the continued support of GFA President Richard Lai, GFA Executives and staff, GFA’s local business sponsors, and the local community, the team will certainly send shockwaves throughout Asia in these upcoming matches,” White added.

The AFC next will send out schedules to each corresponding country. Each country will play a total of eight matches, composed of four home matches and four away matches.

The Matao, Guam men's national team, pose for a team photo before its FIFA International friendly match against Hong Kong last month in Hong Kong. From left to right are: Asst. Coach Mark Chargualaf, Equipment Manager Robby De Guzman, Team Physiotherapist Richard Coombs, Dylan Naputi, Shawn Nicklaw, Ryan Guy, Jan-Willem Staman, Min Sung Choi, Mason Grimes, Justin Lee, Dallas Jaye, Captain Jason Cunliffe, Douglas Herrick, Head Coach Gary White, Bijan Gloston, Alexander Lee, Brandon McDonald, Micah Paulino, Marlon Evans, John Matkin, Nathaniel Lee, Shane Malcolm, Goalkeeper Coach Adrian Creamer, Team Trainer Ian Lawton, and Team Manager Ross Awa.