Micronesia just can't catch a break.
This past Sunday, the sovereign island nation's soccer team -- which isn't a member of FIFA -- lost an Olympic qualifier to Fiji by the absurd score of 38-0. It was the largest loss in international soccer history. That was until Tuesday, when Vanuatu beat Micronesia by the somehow more absurd score of 46-0. You did not misread that.
The huge margin of victory is the result of two factors.
First and foremost: The Federated States of Micronesia (located in the Western Pacific Ocean) is bad at soccer. Like, really bad. You and a couple of your friends may be able to beat them. Micronesia's manager Stan Foster said after the match that was the first time many of his players have played on a pitch designed for 11-a-side teams.
Here's Foster speaking to the Guardian:
"It's just so hard at this early stage -- this is kindergarten for us," he said. "We have to learn and to know that we go back we have to train harder and learn more skills.
"Most of these have never been out of their villages let alone on to another island. I took them to Guam the other day [and it was] the first time they've been on an elevator or an escalator. It's been a huge step-up for these guys and they've just been overawed really."
The second factor: since Fiji defeated Micronesia so handily, Vanuatu had to have goal-differential of at least 30 to advance from its group and for a chance to qualify for the Olympics.
Journalist Kevin Darling was tweeting on-scene.
Barry Mansale already has 6 goals for Vanuatu. A couple of his team-mates have hat-tricks. 35 minutes played - 17-0 #Micronesia- Kevin Darling (@darlingkevin) July 7, 2015
This is no joke for Vanuatu. They literally need 38 goals or they are out of the Pacific Games. It's intense for a 26-0 match #Micronesia- Kevin Darling (@darlingkevin) July 7, 2015
There's an empty desk where the official scorer was sitting. Nervous breakdown? THINK it's Vanuatu 32-0 Micronesia. pic.twitter.com/VHTEXtqAAZ- Kevin Darling (@darlingkevin) July 7, 2015
FT: Vanuatu 46-0 Micronesia. This cool dude is Jean Kaltack, who scored 16 goals pic.twitter.com/jeiSE1B9ji- Kevin Darling (@darlingkevin) July 7, 2015
So, Vanuatu got the goals it needed and is on its way to the Olym... wait, what?
Tahiti draw with Fiji, meaning Vanuatu are out of the Pacific Games despite beating Micronesia 46-0. After all that.- Kevin Darling (@darlingkevin) July 7, 2015
After all that, indeed.
So, it was all for nothing in the end. Micronesia lost. Vanuatu lost too, in the grand scheme of things. The only real winner in this scenario is Micronesia's Jonathan Garayog, whose hair is much, much better than yours.
Goals: Vanuatu 46-0 Micronesia Beautiful mullets: Vanuatu 0-1 Micronesia Take a bow, No.15 Jonathan Garayog. pic.twitter.com/ZumBWyQxdK- Kevin Darling (@darlingkevin) July 7, 2015
(H/T SB Nation)
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Cy Brown writes about soccer for Sports on Earth. Follow him on Twitter @CEPBrown.