India, a cricket-obsessed nation, is not really known for its soccer prowess. Ranked 141st in the global FIFA rankings, the South Asian nation of 1.2 billion is commonly known as one of the sport’s “sleeping giants.”
The giant stayed asleep on Tuesday, as the Indian team slumped to a 2-1 defeat against the tiny Pacific island of Guam — a U.S. territory ranked 33 spots below it at 174 and with less than 200,000 people — in a World Cup qualifier.
It was Guam’s second consecutive win after beating Turkmenistan 1-0 and it puts them at the top of their qualifying group, CNN reports.
India, on the other hand, were dealt their second consecutive defeat after losing 2-1 to Oman at home last week and face an uphill battle for qualification.
“We are disappointed,” Indian football coach Stephen Constantine said after the match. “Today the difference was very much visible between a group of players who have the best football education and the rest. Seventy-five percent of the players who represented Guam have been born and brought up in the U.S. and that made a huge difference.”