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Mar 31, 2015

What’s Ahead for Belize Jaguars? Los Quisqueyanos of Dominican Republic

As you know by now, a World Cup qualifier game between the Belize Jaguars and the Cayman National Team ended one to one on Sunday in the Caymans. It means that Belize narrowly secured a spot to move up to play the Dominican Republic in June. The team has two months to prepare and so far the absence of super striker, Deon McCauley, has been felt. So what’s in store for the Jaguars as they get ready to take on the dominant DR team? News Five’s Isani Cayetano has a recap of the game and a look at what lies ahead.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The progression of the Belize Jaguars to another round of play in the ongoing World Cup 2018 qualifiers, albeit by a very narrow margin, leaves much to be desired.  While it can be argued that a win is a win, by any means, the story of the team’s headway is one of squandered opportunities.  It is also one of deliverance; a return to modesty, having grossly misjudged an opponent on rank alone.

 

Ian Gaynair

Ian Gaynair, Defender, Belize Jaguars

“With di game we play last Wednesday, I could tell you that it was in favor of us, we just had a bad night and todeh we wahn mek sure we capitalize and get di goals dehn.  Wih miss too much goals, golden opportunities last Wednesday and I think todeh we wahn capitalize pan dehn.”

 

Oddly, that would be easier said than done.  The sodden surface on which the match would be played on Sunday evening would add yet another unforeseen dimension to the game.  A heavy downpour which began several hours earlier would prevail for the better part of the afternoon.

 

Woodrow West

Woodrow West, Goalkeeper, Belize Jaguars

“It was an unexpected thing, you know.  We didn’t expect a weather like this.  We are almost in summer where the sun should be out, you know, worse on the island.  But then it’s God’s work and we just have to accept it and it’s part of life.  We’re use to playing ball in the rainy season and maybe it would take us a long while to get warmed up but we’re going to try as best as possible to get in that rhythm and then the field seems to be still good and it had a lot of water.  So it’s still a good thing for us still yet, you know.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“You’re coming out of a spirited pep talk with the other guys in the locker room, earlier.  What was that like in terms of what the assistant coach was sharing with you guys to get you guys prepared mentally for this evening’s game?”

 

Woodrow West

“We just need to get back our groove and keep the same energy that we had in Belize.  It’s kind of pressure for us because we are away but then the coach is trying to keep us calm and let us know that the same tactics we’re going to use, the same energy level and hopefully with a few changes we could get the goals in the first half.  That’s the plan for the game tonight.”

 

That goal would indeed be scored before the end of the first half, a brutal response to a one-nil lead the Caymanians took in the opening minutes of the away game.

 

Charlie Slusher

Charlie Slusher, Assistant Coach, Belize Jaguars

“We didn’t panic because, like I said, the moment that we saw the Cayman Islands [team] was defending on their home turf we knew that they gave us too much respect and they were, they believed that the only way they can beat us is defending.  And if you’re just defending it’s tough for you to beat a team for ninety minutes.  It’s tough to defend for ninety minutes and win a game, so the way they were playing earlier in the game we knew that we would have been back in the ballgame and still have an opportunity to win.  And the pressure was on them because we knew that all we needed was one goal.”

 

The idea of needing a single point and scoring only what was necessary to advance suggests a weakness within the team that is yet to be overcome.

 

Elroy Kuylen

Elroy Kuylen, Scored Only Goal for Belize

“I just think the players need to focus more and keep it simple when we get into the last, third part of the field and try to get the ball behind the net and hold your composure when you’re close to the goal because goals win the game.”

 

Going forward, the Jaguars will need to take full advantage of the two months of preparation afforded prior to the second round where it will be facing the Dominican Republic.  That team, Los Quisqueyanos, is ranked a hundred and seventh by FIFA and is being led by top scorer Jonathan Fana.  And, just how will Belize respond?

 

Charlie Slusher

“I think we need to focus on the things that are killing the team and that’s just scoring goals.  We need to definitely find some new strikers, we hope that Deon [McCauley] can be a part of this team.  There is no excuse, we have two months.  Even if he is not in game shape he can be in game shape in two months if he comes and starts training with the national team and we need to seek other strikers.  But we definitely need to find some goal scorers for this team because overall we are good from defense, you know to the midfield but if you’re not scoring goals then it’s tough for you to win any ballgame even against a smaller level team because it’s about that Isani, if you can’t score a goal it doesn’t matter who you are playing.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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3 Responses for “What’s Ahead for Belize Jaguars? Los Quisqueyanos of Dominican Republic”

  1. Belizean Pride says:

    NOW IS THE TIME THAT DEON BRO COME GIVE US A HAND TO WIN THIS COMING GAME. NOW THE COUCHING STAFF HAS GIVEN THE ASKING HAND TO MAKE YOU COME (DEON) BRO COME HELP THE JAGUARS PLEASE. WE NEED YOU MORE THAN EVER AND BRING THAT SPIRIT THAT YOU HAVE OF SCORING.

    SINCERELY,
    A FELLOW JAGUAR FAN

  2. Concerned Jaguars Supporter says:

    Is Charlie Slusher the head coach? or is it Nunez? Or does Charlie articulate better than Nunez? (Charlie still needs help with his grammar)…. The crux of the matter is that they need to play the younger men….they have the ‘ganas’ and will make Belize proud. If Deon can join the team, then great….but lets work with the team that we have….we can do it!!

  3. Rony Gonzalez says:

    DEON PLEASE COME AND HELP OUR TEAM! I AGREE THAT THE COACH NEEDS TO GIVE A CHANCE TO THE YOUNG PLAYERS SUCH AS JORDI POLANCO, HE HAS ALL THE ”GANAS” TO MAKE BELIZE WIN… IT’S A PITTY THAT THE COACH JUST GAVE HIM 1 MINUTE ON THE LAST GAME, I AM SURE THIS YOUNG PROSPECT HAS LOT TO GIVE…

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