Founded in 1975, the Guam national football team affiliated to FIFA in 1996. The team gained a first win in 2009 after a period of 35 years, by beating Mongolia 1-0. The team moved from the Oceania Football Confederation to the Asian Football Confederation to play against better sides.
Guam is a small island in the western Pacific Ocean. A territory of the United States it earns some of its income from hosting a military base. The rest of the economy mainly relies on tourism from Japan. This peaceful divide is at odds with the history of the island. Occupied by Japan in the second world war, Guam was fought over by the United States and recaptured in 1944. July 21st is still celebrated as Liberation Day.
The team has traditionally been one of the worst in international football, but things are changing. Since its first victory, follow-up successes have come after a much shorter time span. Recent results have included wins over American Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands. However, this period has also included a record defeat – 21-0 to North Korea. Overall the 2000’s were Guam’s most successful decade ever in football.
Guam first entered the world cup in 2002. It was a poor qualifying competition. The team lost both games without scoring and conceded 35 goals in total.