Guam made history, while Hong Kong and Syria romped to victories over Bhutan and Afghanistan when the Asia World Cup qualification group stages got underway on Thursday.
The last time Guam took part in a World Cup qualifier was back in 2000 and on that occasion they were hammered 16-0 by Tajikistan.
However, head coach Gary White oversaw their first World Cup qualification victory as they defeated Turkmenistan 1-0 in Group D. It also marked the first home goal Guam had scored in qualifiers, albeit with a little helping hand from Serdar Annaorazow, who put past his own goalkeeper.
Emad Al Hosani’s 40th-minute penalty was enough for Oman to win 2-1 in India in the other fixture in the group.
Hong Kong were the biggest winners of the day as they romped to a 7-0 victory at home to Bhutan in Group C, with Jaimes McKee on the scoresheet twice for the hosts. There was drama in the group’s other match, as Ahmed El Sayed netted a 99th-minute winner in Qatar’s 1-0 win against Maldives.
There was plenty of goals in Group E as Raja Rafe scored twice in Syria’s 6-0 rout of Afghanistan, while Muhammad Baharudin also bagged a brace in Singapore’s 4-0 triumph at Cambodia.
In Group A, Malaysia and Timor-Leste played out a 1-1 draw, while Saudi Arabia beat Palestine 3-2. In Group B, Kyrgyzstan and Jordan were both 3-1 victors in their respective trips to Bangladesh and Tajikistan.
Thailand edged Vietnam 1-0, while the other match in Group F between Chinese Taipei and Indonesia did not take place after the latter’s Football Association was suspended last month due to government interference.
Laos and Myanmar played out a 2-2 draw and Kuwait beat Lebanon 1-0 in Group G, while in Group H Philippines defeated Bahrain 2-1 and North Korea were 1-0 victors at Yemen.
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