Home ties the key, says Guam's Dodd
Kuala Lumpur: With their challengers all ranked higher than them, Guam are counting on home ground advantage to make a mark in the Asian Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.
Guam are in Group A of the Asian Qualifiers with China PR, Maldives, Philippines and Syria the teams they have to face.
It will be a tough challenge as Guam, at 198, are the lowest ranked team in the group.
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Head coach Karl Dodd, however, believes Guam stand a chance if they maximise the fact that their opening two matches will be at home.
"The home matches are a huge advantage for us," said Australian Dodd.
Not only will travelling be a factor for Guam's opponents but the climate will be equally challenging and Dodd is hoping the Matao take advantage against Maldives, who they play first on September 5, and 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers Philippines (September 10).
Save the dates for Guam's home matches of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2:— Guam Football Assoc (@GuamFootball) July 17, 2019
Sept 5: Guam vs Maldives
Sept 10: Guam vs Philippines
Oct 15: Guam vs Syria
Mar 31: Guam vs China PR#guamfootball #guahanfutbol #guammataowcq pic.twitter.com/jTTc0SgOtC
“Overall, it is going to be a great opportunity to showcase our abilities.
"It is really important that we are in peak condition to give ourselves every chance to progress to the next round," added Dodd.
He will have a pool of 50 players to select his squad as Guam prepare for eight highly competitive matches from September till June 2020.
Guam sealed their place in the second round of the Asian Qualifiers after a 5-1 aggregate win over Bhutan.
They will have to finish in the top two of Group A to not only confirm a place in the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 but also a place in the final round of the Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar.
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