The Sri Lanka national football team was known as Ceylon until 1972. The team has yet to impress on the international scene.
The team’s greatest achievement to date was becoming South Asian champions in 1995. Like many of its neighbours, cricket overshadows football in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has been beaten by 11 goals twice since its formation. As Ceylon, the team lost 12-1 to East Germany in 1964. After the name change, the team lost 11-0 to Iran in 1980. Results since the 1980’s have been better. The team has won two games by six goals in recent years. A 2008 match against Pakistan ended 7-1 and a 2009 game against Bhutan ended 6-0.
Sri Lanka first attempted to qualify for a world cup during the 1994 competition. The team played and lost eight games in the first round group stage. Sri Lanka managed to concede 26 goals without scoring any in reply.
The 2006 world cup remains Sri Lanka’s most successful entry in the tournament. The team progressed from the first round with a 3-0 aggregate win over Laos. The second round group stage was disappointing. The team lost four and drew two of their six games. Sri Lanka ended the round as the bottom placed team in the group and left the competition.