Singapore (AFP) - Guam secured their first-ever win in a FIFA World Cup qualifying match as an early own goal gave the Pacific island side a 1-0 win over Turkmenistan on Thursday.
There was also a surprise result in the Philippines in the second round of Asian qualifying for the 2018 World Cup as the home side stunned Bahrain 2-1.
However there was no fairy tale start for minnows Cambodia and Bhutan as they suffered heavy defeats against Singapore and Hong Kong.
Playing at home for the first time in a World Cup qualifier, Guam clinched an historic win when Turkmenistan defender Serdar Annaorazov headed the ball into his net after 14 minutes to the delight of the home crowd at the GFA National Training Center.
The surprise result sent Guam, a United States island territory in the Western Pacific with a population of less than 200,000, to the top of Group D for at least a few hours before India’s match against Oman in Bangalore later on Thursday.
The result was a huge improvement for Guam from their last outing in the World Cup qualifiers in 2000 when they were beaten 19-0 by Iran and 16-0 by Tajikistan. They host India in their second Group D game next Tuesday.
In Manila, unfancied Philippines also made a bright start as they downed Bahrain 2-1 in their Group H opener at Philippines Sports Stadium.
Misagh Bahadoran stabbed in a cross by Phil Younghusband in the 50th minute and Javier Patino added a second after a goalmouth scramble 10 minutes later before Abdulwahab Al Malood grabbed a consolation goal for the Middle Eastern visitors deep into stoppage time.
Cambodia were also seeking a positive start in front of their fans at a packed Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh but found themselves instead on the wrong end of a 4-0 thumping by Singapore in Group E.
Khairul Amri opened the scoring after nine minutes and Safuwan Baharudin struck twice to put the visitors 3-0 up at half-time before Fazrul Nawaz added a fourth 10 minutes into the second half.
Bhutan also suffered a heavy defeat as they were hammered 7-0 by Hong Kong with Jaimes McKee scoring twice for the hosts in the Group C match.
Kyaw Zayar Win’s late equaliser earned Myanmar a 2-2 draw in their Group G opener in Laos while Anton Zemlianukhin scored twice as Kyrgyzstan won 3-1 at Bangladesh in Group B.
A total of 14 matches are being played throughout Asia on Thursday in matches that serve as qualifiers for both the 2018 World Cup and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.