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Lowest-ranked national team in the world advances in World Cup qualifying

Sri Lanka Bhutan WCup Asian Qualifying

FILE – In this Thursday, March 12, 2015 file photo, Bhutan’s soccer players celebrate their victory in the first leg against Sri Lanka in their 2018 World Cup qualifier in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The lowest-ranked team in world soccer won again Tuesday, March 17, and advanced to the second round of World Cup qualifying. Bhutan, a Himalayan kingdom ranked 209th by FIFA, beat Sri Lanka 2-1 at home in the second leg and advanced 3-1 on aggregate. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena, File)


Bhutan is advancing.

The lowest ranked national team in world soccer, 209th, beat Sri Lanka 3-1 over two legs to advance to the second round of World Cup qualifying in Asia.

Bhutan, a Himalayan kingdom, had previously lost all 18 of its matches from 2009 to 2014 which included heavy defeats galore with a 20-0 loss to Kuwait in an Asian Cup qualifier the low point.

However, they beat Sri Lanka 2-1 at home to advance 3-1 on aggregate as they could now face Asian giants such as South Korea and Japan in the next round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Remarkable.

In case you were wondering, Bhutan has a population of 753,000 and is wedged in-between India, Nepal and China.

Other nations to make the second round of qualifying, which entails 40 teams split into eight groups of five nations, were India, East Timor, Cambodia and Taiwan.

There’s no doubt that Bhtuan’s escapades will be followed by many around the globe as the minnows will give hope to several other soccer nations aiming to make their mark.

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