Bhutan will face Guam in the 2022 FIFA World Cup preliminary qualifiers Round 1. The official draw was held at the Asian Football Confederation house in Malaysia yesterday.
12 National Teams ranked from 35 to 46 in the AFC will participate in the preliminary qualification round 1. In the first game of the qualifiers, Bhutan will host Guam at the Changlimithang National Stadium on June 6.
“We are still under the selection process and we have more than 50 players taking part in a training for a month now. And we don’t have a national head coach appointed right now but we have coach Pema serving as the interim head coach. He is currently in process of selecting all the player along with the research and technical team,” Phuntsho Wangdi, the Head of Commercial and Communication of BFF, said.
Unlike Guam’s participation in the last World Cup qualifier four years ago, where it had several weeks between its two matches against Iran, Guam will face Bhutan twice within a week’s time. One match will be held in Bhutan and the other on Guam. The first game is scheduled for June 6, the other June 11.
Ranked 193rd in the FIFA world ranking, Guam is an island in Micronesia in the Pacific Ocean that is part of the United States. The winner of the two-legged competition will qualify for the second round scheduled to be played in September this year.
“Guam is a very tough opponent, they are very strong. Maybe they are ranked below us but they are a strong team. The reason why they are strong is most of their players are playing in America. So in that way, their football is very strong and they are one of the favourites of the competition as well,” Phuntsho Wangdi said.
Despite this, the Bhutan Football Federation is optimistic of a positive result from the qualifiers.Bhutan first played the Guamanian side in 2003. Bhutan had thrashed Guam by six goals to nil.
Now, in their second encounter 16 years later, although it may be too early to predict the result, there is some encouragement the Dragon Boys can take from the first game.
Here are the matchups that were determined during the draw, including an all-Southeast Asian affair between Malaysia and Timor Leste:
Mongolia vs Brunei
Macau vs Sri Lanka
Laos vs Bangladesh
Malaysia vs Timor Leste
Cambodia vs Pakistan
Bhutan vs Guam
Source : BBS