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Harmon: Guam’s phenomenal start to the 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup joint-qualifying campaign continued on Tuesday as the Pacific Ocean Islanders followed up their historic victory over Turkmenistan with a stunning 2-1 defeat of South Asian powerhouse India.

Brandon McDonald, who has professional experience in the USA’s Major League Soccer as well as a stint in the lower tiers of Swedish football with Ljungskile SK, put the home side one up against the six-time South Asian champions with 37minutes at the Guam FA National Training Centre played.

Travis Nicklaw doubled Guam’s advantage in the 62nd minute and while India skipper Sunil Chhetri pulled one back ithree minutes into stoppage time of the Group D encounter the Matao were not to be denied a second successive win that sees them temporarily top the five team table with a 100% record, with India languishing at the bottom with no points following their 2-1 loss to Oman in their Preliminary Round 2 opener.

The participating teams will compete according to a double round robin format, with the Round 2 qualification matches being held between June 11, 2015 and March 29, 2016.

The group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) will advance to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The next best 24 teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining slots (12 slots or 11 slots + 1 slot for the host) in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup.

 
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