The Eritreans first entered FIFA World Cup™ qualifying in the run-up to Korea Republic/Japan 2002, and they were given no favours being drawn against continental giants Nigeria. Despite long odds, they defied expectations by holding the Super Eagles to a scoreless draw in the first leg, while the second leg in Lagos ended up 4-0 for the overpowering hosts. Four years later, they were back in the ring, this time drawn into a home-and-away tie with neighbours Sudan. The away leg came first and proved to be too much in a 3-0 defeat, but again the Eritreans were a hard nut to crack in the home match in Asmara, drawing by the same scoreline of 0-0. They had to withdraw from qualifying for South Africa 2010, but four years later they were up to their old tricks in holding favoured Rwanda to a 1-1 draw in Asmara before succumbing in the second leg 3-1.
Best performance in a FIFA competition: None
Former stars: None