19 Nov 2019

Sport: Guam footballers chasing breakthrough win

1:21 pm on 19 November 2019

The Guam men's football team are determined to make amends in today's Asian Cup football qualifier against the Maldives in Male.

The Matao are winless in the second round after their first four games and suffered 7-0 and 4-0 defeats away to China and Syria last month.

Guam were beaten 4-0 by Syria.

Guam were beaten 4-0 by Syria. Photo: Asian Football Confederation

Head coach Karl Dodd said playing in front of 40,000 fans in Guangzhou, in particular, was a new experience for his squad and he was pleased with how they bounced back in the second half after conceding six first-half goals.

"It was a good lesson for the players and staff - just the different in the level required to really match those teams," he said.

"There were moments in the games where we did well, especially against Syria - I thought we improved a lot from the China game - but it's just being able to match them for 90 minutes consistently in every action and I think that's the takeaway and if we can keep working on that as a group then we will continue to get better."

Guam played in front of 40,000 people in China.

Guam played in front of 40,000 people in China. Photo: Asian Football Confederation

The US Territory were pipped 1-0 in their previous clash against the Maldives in September and Dodd said they are going into the return match with confidence.

"It was disappointing to be honest to lose 1-0 considering we gave them the goal the last time," he said.

"I think we were the better team - I'm sure every coach says the same - but I truly believe that. When we play we can play good football, it's just a matter of bringing that from the start to the end and consistently playing throughout the match, not switching off at times or letting ourselves down.

"I think if we play to our strengths and we play well we can definitely beat the Maldives, it's just (we) need the players to step up and deliver."

Guam men's football coach Karl Dodd (c) wants a better performance in the return leg against Bhutan.

Guam coach Karl Dodd (c). Photo: Bhutan Football Federation

Dodd said it had been tough managing a small squad, with a number of players unavailable to travel abroad because of work, study or injury, but he believed they were making progress.

"They now know what's expected when they play these teams and now it's about righting the ledger so to speak - can we be better than the last time we played each of these teams? So, that's all I can ask for considering where we're at."