8 Sep 2015

Sport: Guam footballers relying on home support

1:27 pm on 8 September 2015

Guam is counting on home-town support to spur them on in tonight's crucial Football World Cup qualifying clash with Oman.

Guam football coach Gary White with some of his players.

Guam football coach Gary White with some of his players. Photo: Facebook / Guam football Association

The US territory were thumped 6-0 in Iran in the early hours of Friday morning, their first defeat in Asian qualifying after home victories against Turkmenistan and India.

Mateo coach Gary White says they've learnt some important lessons playing against the strongest team in Asia and must start games faster and not give away soft goals.

He says it's nice to be back home.

"Yeah I think that's going to give us a boost that we maybe wouldn't get when you play away. The fans I expect will push us through to the final whistle and really give us a good energy. The fans here, it's a small stadium - five or six thousand people - but they make it feel like it's a lot bigger and it's going to be a difficult place for anyone to come, and we hope Oman will feel that".

There's little time to rest for both sides, barely four days after their previous qualifying games.

Gary White says the short turnaround will be a challenge for both teams.

"I think it's ridiculous the amount of time that you get in between international football games. Obviously the calendar has been set up according to UEFA standards in terms of travel but obviously Asia is a much bigger continent so I think we definitely need to look into that and try to give the players a couple more days of travel, in order to make sure the competition is quality and the players are playing at their optimum. It's a problem for every team is Asia for sure and we just have to deal with it".

Both teams have six points in Group D with Oman atop the group having played one less game.

Guam players greet fans after training.

Guam players greet fans after training. Photo: Facebook - Guam Football Association