The former Portuguese colony of Timor-Leste joined FIFA as late as 2005, with the national team making its FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers debut in the race for places at South Africa 2010. However, they lost 11-3 on aggregate to Hong Kong in the preliminary round after losing a keenly-contested first leg by the odd goal in five. It was déjà vu four years later, when the islanders, hopeful after reducing Nepal to a narrow 2-1 home win in the first leg, suddenly crashed in the return conceding five unanswered goals.
The current crop
As one of the youngest members of the football family and with a population of a little over one million, Timor-Leste are still feeling their way into international football and have yet to win an official match. Valuable support is being given to football in the country by FIFA’s Goal Project and the Performance Programme.
The key players
Captaining the side is FC Porto Taibesi play-maker Eusebio de Almeida, who impressed during their recent qualifying campaign. Carrying their goal threat up front is striker Juvito Da Silva, who scored their only goal against Nepal.
Coach: Antonio Vieira
Best performance in a FIFA competition: None