It’s confirmed then. Anguilla lost both of their CONCACAF zone playoff matches with Nicaragua to consign themselves to a drop to the foot of the next world rankings table and the unwanted label as the worst national team in the world.
The first leg was away in the Dennis Martinez National Stadium in Managua, where the hosts, sitting at 175th in the world rankings, made short work of the islanders. It took only twelve minutes for Luis Galeano to break the deadlock, and by half-time it was a comfortable 4-0., with the match and the tie effectively over already. That first leg ended 5-0, which was something of a small comfort for Anguilla who mist has feared a more brutal beating.
With their World Cup hopes as good as over after the first match, all that remained was the chance to at least grab a draw in the return leg to avoid the bottom of the rankings, sending the Cook Islands to the bottom instead.
In the idyllic setting of Anguilla’s stadium in the capital “city” The Valley, a defensively set-up Anguilla held out a little longer than they had in the first match, but again trailed by the break before going down 3-0 by the end. So it was 8-0 on aggregate and there was no way of avoiding becoming the official worst team in the world.
Although these matches had a direct bearing on the bottom of the rankings, they are not official WITW fixtures since Anguilla were not at the foot of the rankings at the time of the matches. But they will certainly be there come the next ranking publication and we can look forward to getting to know Anguilla once more.