Timor Leste, previously known as East Timor, remains one of the world's most mysterious footballing entities. Having gained independence back in 2002, they spared no time in gaining recognition among the international football fraternity and their efforts paid off as they successfully joined the Asian Football Association in 2002 before they became affiliated to FIFA three years later.
Their international debut came in March 2003 when they participated in the qualifying campaign for 2004 AFC Asian Cup China. Given their status, it was no surprise that they crashed out with defeats against the likes of Sri Lanka and Chinese Taipei. They entered the regional competition for the first time in 2004 as they played in the ASEAN Football Federation Championship (previously know as Tiger Cup) as an invited member. A finish in last place showed they still have a long way to go before they can compete even on the regional stage.
They were found to be lacking again in qualifying for 2007 ASEAN Football Federation Championship, stumbling at the first hurdle with four heavy losses, including a 7-0 trouncing at the hands of Philippines.