Guam men’s national soccer team will open its bid Sept. 5 in Round 2 of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification.
The Matao, slated to open their bid Sept. 5, will kick off against the Maldives. On Sept. 10, in Guam’s second match, they will take on the Azkals, the Philippine National Soccer Team.
Both fixtures will take place at the Guam Football Association National Training Center in Harmon.
The Matao, following the official draw, over nine months, will play eight matches. Guam, out of a 40-nation pool, was selected first, and in a home-and-away format, also will face China PR and Syria.
China PR, the No. 71 world-ranked team in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking system, is the highest-ranked team. To advance, the No. 190-ranked Matao will have to be at their best.
"The home matches are a huge advantage for us," said Matao head coach Karl Dodd, citing Guam's harsh climate. “Overall, it is going to be a great opportunity to showcase our abilities.”
With Guam’s roster not set, Dodd will draw from a pool of 50 of the island’s best soccer players.
Stressing conditioning, Dodd said, "It is really important that we are in peak condition to give ourselves every chance to progress to the next round."
The Matao, qualifying for Round 2, defeated Bhutan, 5-1. During the match, Jason Cunliffe, the Matao team captain, recorded his first hat trick against a FIFA member-nation. For another first, teammates Isiah Lagutang scored his first international.
For the first home matches, GFA will announce ticket sales. Ticket prices will range from $5 to $25.
For more information, call the GFA main office at 637-4321 or email email@example.com.