World Cup 2018: Tiny Pacific Island beats nation of 1.2 billion

    (CNN)Guam maintained its storybook start to World Cup qualifying by claiming an unlikely victory against one of the world's most powerful and populous nations Tuesday.

    The tiny U.S. island territory in the Western Pacific with a population of just 165,000, beat India, home to 1.2 billion people, to move top of its 2018 qualifying group.
    Goals from midfielder Brandon McDonald and defender Travis Nicklaw were enough to see off an opponent often dubbed international football's sleeping giants 2-1, despite a late consolation from Sunil Chhetri.
      The last time Guam took part in World Cup qualifying it was humbled 19-0 by Iran and 16-0 by Tajikistan in 2000.
        This time round, however, the team ranked 174 in the world, 33 places below India, have gotten off to a far more promising start.
        Coached by Englishman Gary White, Guam beat Turkmenistan 1-0 last week and now sit top of Asian qualifying Group D with six points.
        "It was a tough and competitive game and it feels nice to be at the top of the Group," White said in post match comments carried by the Times of India. "This is not the same Guam who used to play some 15-16 years back."
          By comparison, India coach Stephen Constantine said the result was more reflective of the footballing opportunities afforded Guam's players in their youth rather the huge disparity in population between the two territories.
          "Today the difference was very much visible between a group of players who have the best football education and the rest," Constantine said.
          "75% of the players who represented Guam have been born and brought up in the US and that made a huge difference."
            Guam will remain top of Group D until September at least and the next round of fixtures. Rivals Iran plays its first game of the competition later Tuesday while Oman, which also beat India 2-1 last week, will not play again until it faces Turkmenistan later this year.