BELIZE CITY, Monday, June 7, 2021 – A Belize national team led by veteran striker Deon McCaulay gave their all on Friday night in Managua, Nicaragua, but lost 3 to zero to a highly motivated and focused Nicaraguan national team. Final match of Group E of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Qatar 2022. Only the winner of the group from the first round will advance to the second round, and that will be decided between Haiti and Nicaragua, as Haiti beat the Turks and Caiques, 10 to zero, Saturday, to tie with Nicaragua at 6 points each. The Haiti vs Nicaragua match will take place on Tuesday, June 8 at 2:00 p.m. at the Sylvio Cator Stadium in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. See the updated rankings below.
For various reasons, the Belize Jaguars traveled with just 17 players for this meeting, featuring a number of young players who will likely form the core of the national team in the future. Apart from the current lack of local competition, the main difficulty encountered by the Belize contingent was not being able to obtain a direct commercial flight to Nicaragua; and this forced the team to travel by bus from Belize, leaving last Sunday morning, May 30, and arriving in Managua, Nicaragua on Monday after a 25-hour trip including lunch on the road.
The match went scoreless for the first 25 minutes, when Nicaragua took a 1-0 lead on a free kick from Richard Rodriguez (25 ‘). Two quick goals early in the second half from Byron Bonilla (46 ‘) and Juan Barrera (51’) gave Nicaragua the 3-0 lead they held until the final whistle.
Under the guidance of head coach Dale Pelayo, the Belize squad included: goalkeeper – No.1 Charles Tillett; # 3 Norman Anderson; # 7 Ian Gaynair; # 8 Deshawon Nembhard; # 23 Donel Arzu (# 17 Darrel Myvett at 61 ‘); # 15 Denmark Casey; # 16 Jordy Polanco (# 14 Jahlin Pelayo at 78 ‘); # 21 Nana Mensah (# 6 Jordan Casanova at 79 ‘); # 9 Deon McCaulay; # 19 Gilroy Thurton (# 13 Izon Gill at 78 ‘); # 20 Krisean Lopez (# 5 Ean Lewis at 54 ‘). Only substitute No.12 goalkeeper Isaac Castillo didn’t see the action.
A team of Honduran referees officiated the match, led by referee No.1 Nelson Salgado.
The Belize contingent returned safe and sound inside the Jewel yesterday morning, Sunday June 6th.
Nice effort, young Jaguars! The future is yours.