Guam Finish Second Round of WC and Asian Cup Qualification with Loss to Oman
The Guam National Team falls to Oman in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Joint Preliminary Qualification. Ryan Guy of North County Battalion appeared for Guam as the side lost the match setting up a difficult path to advance to the next rounds.
Ryan Guy, head coach and midfielder of North County Battalion of the NPSL, represented Guam continuing his international career in the qualification round. Guy made his first appearance with the Guam National Team in 2012 and has also spent time playing for the New England Revolution as well as former NPSL team, San Diego Flash.
The opening of the match saw both teams hold possession and create numerous chances as Guam’s Shane Malcolm sent in a strike off the bar against former Premier League and current Reading FC goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi.
Malcolm’s chance was the closest either side came to taking the lead in the first half as Guam impressed with its combination play. The match went into the break tied at 0-0 setting up a competitive ending to the game.
In the second half, Guam suffered an injury to left back Justin Lee as his younger brother Nate Lee came on to impress in the final 45 minutes.
Travis Nicklaw and substitute Marcus Lopez were unable to capitalize on great opportunities as Oman aimed to slow the game down. Lopez nearly tied the game off a strike hitting the post but could not break the deadlock for his team.
Guam conceded a goal off a controversial non-offside call in the 52nd minute as Ahmed Al Mahajri finished for the home side. Head Coach Gary White claimed the result of the match did not justify his team’s performance having played impressive soccer throughout the match.
“What we showed not just tonight but throughout this campaign is that we belong at this level,” stated White. “To have performed so well across the 90 minutes and then have a decision that was so blatantly wrong decide the game is a bitter pill to swallow.”
Guam is now in a tough spot to qualify for the third and final round of Asian Cup qualification, which may be the first time in the GFA’s history.
“The fact that we are now so close to securing that direct qualification spot, which places us in the top half of all Asian nations shows just how far this team has come and everyone in Guam should be so proud of what this team has done.”
Photo Credit: Guam Football Association