THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

India suffer a 1-2 defeat to Guam in FIFA World Cup qualifier

Indian national football team
Indian national football team

Photo courtesy: AIFF Media

It was a festive day despite it being a weekday. Almost all the kids in the stands had an ice-cream, and there were plenty of them. The rest, who outnumbered the kids, had beer. The Sun was scorching and humid.

On the field, Guam, playing the ‘heritage card’ within the rules, made use of the seven American Players including a couple from the MLS, and scored one in each half to pip India 2-1 [+ WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS] and script their second successive victory in the Russia 2018 World Cup Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 match at the Guam Football Association Stadium in Guam on Tuesday (June 16).

Sunil Chhetri reduced the margin for the Men in Blue in added time, heading in a cross from the right, thus, bulging the net 50 times in International matches for India. None have achieved the feat so far in Indian Football. 50 Goals in International Football; WHAT A PLAYER!!!

Baichung Bhutia stays at the second spot with 42 goals in 107 matches while IM Vijayan has 40 goals from 79 matches. This meanwhile, was Chhetri’s 87th match.

The feat, however, came for a losing cause. Even double substitutions by Coach Stephen Constantine in the 46th minute and the other in the 65th minute, couldn’t change the fortunes.

“Number of goals never matter for me. I never keep track of feats. I just play for my Nation,” Chhetri told AIFF Media post match.

Apart from Chhetri’s header, substitute Jeje Lalpakhlua’s free header in the 88th minute which went straight to rival Goalkeeper Douglas Herrick was another of India’s best chance.

We are disappointed. Today the difference was very much visible between a group of Players who have the best football education and the rest. 75 percent of the Players who represented Guam have been born and brought up in the US and that made a huge difference,” Constantine maintained at the Official post-match Media Interaction. “We lacked football intelligence in key moments of the game and that cost us.”

However, he dismissed that “jet lag” was ever a factor. “We have been here for three days. This is International Football and you have to deal with it. The time zone was not a factor at all.”

“Right from the outset, I had expected a tough game. The advantage which Guam has is to pick American based Players and they made good use of them.”

Constantine’s rival counterpart Gary White sounded happy with the six points on board. “From the very outset, we knew that this would be a difficult place for anybody to come. It was a tough and competitive game and it feels nice to be at the top of the Group. This is not the same Guam who used to play some 15-16 years back.”

“Yeah, we used American based Players to the fullest extent. We used the Heritage Card to the best of our abilities, and within the rules,” he smiled.

(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)


Guam 2-1 India

1-0 Brandon McDonald (38′)
2-0 Travis James Nicklaw (61′)
2-1 Sunil Chhetri (90+3′)


1-Doug Herrick – 2-Alexander Lee, 4-Travis James Nicklaw (78′ 9-Ian Mariano), 6-Mason Grimes, 7-John Landa Matkin, 10-Jason Cunliffe (C), 13-Ryan Guy, 14-Brandon McDonald, 15-Shawn Robert Nicklaw, 20-A.J. Delagarza, 23-Shane Malcolm (83′ 11-Dylan Naputi)

Unused Substitutes: 3-Jonahan Romero, 5-Micah Francisco Paulino, 8-Justin Lee, 12-Isiah Lagutang, 16-Choi M.S., 17-Scott Leon Guerrero, 18-Bijan Gloston, 19-Jan-Willem Staman, 22-Dallas Jeffrey Jaye

1-Subrata Pal – 13-Rino Anto, 4-Arnab Mondal [C], 2-L. Dhanachandra Singh, 22-Lalchhuanmawia – 10-Jackichand Singh (67′ 12-Jeje Lalpekhlua), 7-Eugeneson Lyngdoh (46′ 8-Cavin Peter Lobo), 18-Sehnaj Singh (46′ 21-Dhanapal Ganesh), 19-C.K. Vineeth – 11-Sunil Chhetri, 9-Robin Singh

Unused Substitutes: 16-Sanjiban Ghosh, 23-Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, 3-Augustin Fernandes, 5-Gurwinder Singh, 6-Reagan Singh, 14-Mandar Rao Dessai, 15-Francis Fernandes, 17-Saityasen Singh, 20-Holicharan Narzary

Referee: Minh Tri Vo (Vietnam)
Assistant Referee 1: Pham Manh Long (Vietnam)
Assistant Referee 2: Nguyen Trung Hau (Vietnam)
Fourth Official: Alongkron Feemuechang (Thailand)