Timor-Leste national football team

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Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) O Sol Nascente
(The Rising Sun), The Little Samba Nation
Association Federação de Futebol de Timor-Leste
Sub-confederation AFF (South-East Asia)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Head coach Luciano Foschi [1]
Captain Anggisu Barbosa [2]
Most caps Anggisu Barbosa (20)
Top scorer Murilo de Almeida (6)
Home stadium East Timor National Stadium
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 170 Decrease 7 (1 October 2015)
Highest 146 (June 2015)
Lowest 206 (October 2012)
Elo ranking
Current 215 (June 2015)
Highest 215 (June 2015)
Lowest 228 (24 October 2010)
First international
 Sri Lanka 3–2 Timor-Leste East Timor
(Colombo, Sri Lanka; 21 March 2003)[3]
Biggest win
East Timor Timor-Leste 5–1 Cambodia 
(Yangon, Myanmar; 5 October 2012)
Biggest defeat
 Thailand 8–0 Timor-Leste East Timor
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 12 December 2004)

The Timor-Leste national football team is the national team of East Timor (Timor-Leste) and is controlled by the Federação de Futebol de Timor-Leste. East Timor joined FIFA on 12 September 2005.

Timor-Leste's international debut was in the preliminary round of the AFC Asian Cup in March 2003, when they lost 3–2 to Sri Lanka and 3–0 to Chinese Taipei. They also participated in the 2004 Tiger Cup. Timor-Leste's participation in South East Asia's premier international football event in 2004 was announced after an Asian Football Confederation council meeting in Petaling Jaya. Although not yet a member of the AFC, the Timor-Leste Football Association was invited to sit in on the meeting, where they were represented by FA president Francisco Kalbuadi. Timor-Leste won their first international match on 5 October 2012 against Cambodia with a score of 5-1.[4]


Football was established in Timor-Leste during the Portuguese colonial era, when many of the locals and the Portuguese officials played amateur football. After Portugal ended its colonial rule, Indonesia invaded and occupied the island. East Timor eventually gained independence from Indonesia in 2000, which resulted in a long running battle against Jakarta-led forces.

The East Timor Football Association was accepted as an associate member of AFC at the 20th AFC Congress in 2002. Their international debut came in March 2003 when they participated in the qualifying campaign for the 2004 AFC Asian Cup in China. Given their history, it was no surprise that they crashed out with defeats against the likes of Sri Lanka and Chinese Taipei. They entered the regional competition for the first time in 2004 as they played in the ASEAN Football Federation Championship (previously known as Tiger Cup) as an invited member. They finished in last place, showing that they had a long way to go before they could compete even on the regional stage.

They again had no success in the qualifying round of the 2007 ASEAN Football Federation Championship, with four heavy losses, including a 7-0 trouncing by the Philippines. In the third qualifying round for the 2008 AFF Suzuki Cup, they surprisingly drew against Cambodia; this feat was reported in international news.

In the ninth AFF Suzuki Cup, the country's football federation (FFTL) will reportedly select their foreign based players, who play in Brazil, Portugal, Australia and elsewhere, to fortify the team as they also did at the 2011 SEA Games.[5]

Since 2012 several Brazilian-born footballers, who are not of Timorese descent and had not necessarily played in the Timorese League, were expressly naturalised to raise the level of "Sol Nascente". On 5 October of that year, Timor-Leste win their first international match against Cambodia which they score 5-1. The score lead by national Adelino Trindade (twice) and Brazilians Murilo de Almeida (twice) and Alan Leandro (penalty kick).[6] In 9 October 2012 The rising sun team won another match against the Indochina team, Laos at AFF Suzuki Cup qualifier. Murilo de Almeida score the penalty at 43 minutes of the first half of the match. Later Adelino Trinidade extended the Timorese advantage with a header early in the second half and then Alan Leandro added the third goal in 83 minutes.[7] After winning the second match against Laos, Emerson Alcântara stated "This is a win for the people of Timor Leste," said the Brazilian. "They had to wait a long time for our team to win their first match in this competition but now we have two wins and this was an important victory for Timor Leste. "I think that about 70 percent of people in Timor Leste are poor so it is very important to get this result for them because they love football and the people can get confidence and take pride in this result. It is very important for us to motivate our people and to help to change their lives.[8]

In 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification of Asian zone, Timor-Leste wrote history for the first country to win 4-1 over Mongolia.

The countries recent history of naturalizing foreign players, mainly from Brazil such as Murilo de Almeida, Fellipe Bertoldo, and Diogo Santos Rangel has been criticized by many, including native East Timorese players and fans.[9]


Adidas Timor Leste released away jersey on 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup

Since 2015, the kits have been made by mitre. The home kit is traditional colours (red shirts, black shorts and black striped red socks) and the away kit is all whites. From 2008 to 2010, their away kits were yellow but at 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup qualification, the away kits changed back into all whites. Previous kit makers include Joma, Nike and Tiger.

Strip evolution[edit]

Home Kit 1967
Home Kit 2005
Home Away
No supplier
Home Away
No supplier
Home Away
Home Away

Home Away Alternative

Competition records[edit]

World Cup record[edit]

Asian Qualification Records
Year Round GP W D L GS GA
Germany 2006 Did not enter - - - - - -
South Africa 2010 Did not qualify 2 0 0 2 3 11
Brazil 2014 Did not qualify 2 0 0 2 1 7
Russia 2018 To be played 5 2 1 2 6 10
Total 0/20 9 2 1 6 10 28
FIFA World Cup Qualification History
Year Qualification Score Result
2010 First Round  Timor-Leste 2–3  Hong Kong Lost
First Round  Hong Kong 8–1  Timor-Leste Lost
2014 First Round    Nepal 2–1  Timor-Leste Lost
First Round  Timor-Leste 0–5    Nepal Lost
2018 First Round  Timor-Leste 4–1  Mongolia Won
First Round  Mongolia 0–1  Timor-Leste Won
Second Round  Malaysia 1–1  Timor-Leste Draw
Second Round  Timor-Leste 0–1  United Arab Emirates Lost
Second Round  Saudi Arabia 7–0  Timor-Leste Lost
Second Round  Timor-Leste  Palestine
Second Round  Timor-Leste  Malaysia
Second Round  United Arab Emirates  Timor-Leste
Second Round  Timor-Leste  Saudi Arabia
Second Round  Palestine  Timor-Leste

Lusofonia Games[edit]

Jogos da Lusofonia
Year Round GP W D L GS GA
Macau 2006 Group Stage 0 0 0 2 0 10
Portugal 2009 Did not Enter - - - - - -
India 2014 Did not Enter - - - - - -
Total Group Stage 0 0 0 2 0 10
Jogos da Lusofonia History
Year Qualification Score Result
2006 First Round  Mozambique 5–0  Timor-Leste Lost
First Round  Timor-Leste 0–5  Angola Lost

Asian Cup record[edit]

Asian Cup
Year Round GP W D L GF GA
Hong Kong 1956 to Lebanon 2000 Did not enter - - - - - -
China 2004 Did not qualify - - - - - -
IndonesiaMalaysiaThailandVietnam 2007 Did not enter - - - - - -
Qatar 2011 Did not enter - - - - - -
Australia 2015 Did not enter - - - - - -
United Arab Emirates 2019 [to be determined] - - - - - -
Total - - - - - - -

AFC Challenge Cup record[edit]

AFC Challenge Cup
Year Round GP W D L GF GA
Bangladesh 2006 Did not enter - - - - - -
India 2008 Withdrew - - - - - -
Sri Lanka 2010 Did not enter - - - - - -
Nepal 2012 Did not enter - - - - - -
Maldives 2014 Did not enter - - - - - -
Total Best: - - - - - - -
  • 2006 - Was originally selected to take part, but was then replaced
  • 2008 - Was selected to take part, but withdrew

ASEAN Competitions History[edit]

  • Finals Records Only

This competition was formerly known as the Tiger Cup