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Jun 15, 2015

Belize Jaguars Dominate Dominican Republic

Sunday’s momentous victory in front of hundreds of cheering fans at the F.F.B. Field ensures Belize a place in the third round of qualifying matches ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.  It is the first time in football history that the Jaguars have made it this far, overwhelming the Dominican Republic with a three-goal flurry.  Belizeans are celebrating the success of the national team but plans are already underway to commence training for the subsequent games.  With all eyes on the scoring trifecta, we look at what game two means for the Jaguars.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano has the following story.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The Belize Jaguars are advancing to the third round of competition in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, a remarkable feat for the national football selection.

 

Deon McCauley

Deon McCauley, Forward, Belize Jaguars

“It feels good.  This is history for Belize and, you know, we are looking to play better football going forward because, you know, Belizean people are looking for this kind of football that we are playing right now and we are grateful, you know, that we can let the fans go home with a win.”

 

The team’s rank in the ongoing tournament has undoubtedly improved, albeit a few places higher, following a decisive victory over the visiting lineup on Sunday afternoon.  The return match, played at the FFB Field in Belmopan, before rabid fans of the beautiful game, saw the Dominican Republic team soundly routed by the Jaguars.  The three-nil win has once again shone light on Belize’s recognized talent, including Elroy Kuylen, Deon McCauley and Harrison ‘Cafu’ Roches.

 

Harrison ‘Cafu’ Roches

Harrison ‘Cafu’ Roches, Midfielder, Belize Jaguars

“Di way how wi play da wahn systematic kinda football and then I mi deh eena di right position at di right time and I just manage fu head it een.”

 

What the landslide is largely attributed to is a routine that the team adopted several months ago, a system of play that seemingly works in its favor.

 

Elroy Kuylen, Defender, Belize Jaguars

“We have a system, we’ve been working on the system for the past three months and our job and the midfield job is to support the striker and we just do what the coaches tell us to do and when we are in the locker room and doing the blackboard work and stick to the system and the role we have to play on the field.”

 

The widely held belief going into the match was that the Jaguars would assume more of a defensive position at home, having edged out the Dominican Republic by score of two-to-one during game one abroad.

 

Deon McCauley

“I believe that because the team was playing at home, you know, we couldn’t play a defensive game here even though we were up two-one.  We still had to get that first goal which was very important for the team and once we get that first goal, you know, which was very important for the team.  And once we got that first goal, you know, the team played more relaxed and we did what we had to do.  We did the job.”

 

Elroy Kuylen

What lies ahead is a rare opportunity in which Belize can further develop its athletic program and truly showcase the dexterity of its players.

 

Elroy Kuylen

“That’s what we were aiming for and that’s what we were working hard for to get to the third round and show the other countries and the [other] parts of the world that Belize does have players that can play professional football, you know.”

 

Equally impressive is the overwhelming support the team has gotten from fans of the Jaguars.  From rallying and pooling resources to have Deon McCauley return to training camp in Belize to showing up by the numbers in Belmopan on Sunday, the Jaguars are basking in hometown love.

 

Elroy Kuylen

“I think it’s very good.  Me, Cafu and Deon we played outside and we know how the fans react to the team outside and that is coming to Belize now and people, we feed off the fans’ energy.  The fans give us extra energy to push ourselves to play good and to get the win and that’s a very positive thing for us.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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1 Response for “Belize Jaguars Dominate Dominican Republic”

  1. carlos says:

    Very good congrats. But I feel they would play better short ground ball instead of too much long , high ball, or mix both strategies, long highball when you have tall players at the front with good technique on ball control, and also short ground ball one touch and two touch.

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