World’s worst team kick off Russia 2018 with a win
The Asian minnows travelled to Sri Lanka for the first round of AFC qualification, winning the first leg 1-0 in Colombo. Tshering Dorji scored the only goal just six minutes from time as the White Dragons take a precious lead back to Bhutan.
It ended a spell of 7 years without an international win for Bhutan, and a first ever in World Cup qualification after 12 unsuccessful attempts.
Should Bhutan achieve the unprecedented step of making the next round, they would have to finish in the top two of a group stage, then again in the third round of qualifying.
Elsewhere in the Asian confederation, India edged bordering country Nepal 2-0 and Timor-Leste racked up a 4-1 win over Mongolia. The second legs will be played next Tuesday, a day which could be momentous in the footballing history of Bhutan.
Whilst we cannot expect to see any of these countries in Russia in three years, the coverage of these minor games shows the worldwide reach of football, and that the road to the next World Cup is underway!
Full AFC results (ranking in brackets)
Yemen (175) 3-1 Pakistan (170)
Timor Leste (185) 4-1 Mongolia (195)
Cambodia (181) 3-0 Macau (187)
Sri Lanka (174) 0-1 Bhutan (209)
Chinese Taipei (188) 0-1 Brunei Darussalam (198)
India (173) 2-0 Nepal (180)