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#456168 - 01/24/13 08:25 AM Belize Advances to the Copa Centroamericano
Marty Offline

The president of the Football Federation of Belize Ruperto Vicente returned to the country this morning after witnessing the national team advance to the semi finals of the Copa Centroamericano. The historic victory for the Belize National Football team came yesterday evening as Belize Defeated Nicaragua in a nail-biting two to one final score at the national stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica. Vicente, in an extended interview with Love News, said Tuesday evening’s victory is huge for Belizean football.

Belize’s next game is scheduled for Friday when the national team goes up against Honduras. Vicente says the team is ready mentally and physically for the game. He added that the FFB plans on building upon the success of the current national football team as Belize looks to competing in the next World Cup qualifying tournament.

The FFB resident says his personal belief is that the officiating in the tournament has been exceptional so far and that it has impacted the performance of Belize’s national team.


#456169 - 01/24/13 08:31 AM Re: Belize Advances to the Copa Centroamericano [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Honduras vs. Belize 2013 Kicks off Copa Centroamericana Semifinals

LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – Saturday’s Honduras vs. Belize 2013 Copa Centroamericana Semifinals game (en vivo live score below) was confirmed to news after last night’s results. Both Belize and Honduras advanced to the semifinals after slow starts in this Copa. But with lackluster scoring results, neither team appears a dominant favorite for Saturday’s match.

Prior to this weekend’s Honduras vs. Belize 2013 game (start time 2:30 PM PST), Belize struggled this Copa. In Group A, Belize went two games, scoreless. First against Costa Rica on January 18, Belize failed to deliver a single goal, being defeated at Estadio Nacional in San Jose. Then two days later, Belize returned to the stadium, and failed to score again. Against Guatemala, the team delivered a 0-0 draw.

But because many of the teams in Group A weren’t producing goals in their earlier games, Belize was still in contention, news analysts noted. Finally, last night, against Nicaragua, Belize started scoring. Trevor Lennan delivered a goal at twenty-nine minute mark. Then after Nicaragua tied up the match at eighty-five minutes, Deon McCaulay came back to give Belize the game winning goal.

Honduras advances out of Group B. In that group, teams only had games. Honduras delivered two 1-1 draws in both their matches, first against El Salvador and then against Panama. Last night Juan Pablo Montes tied up the match at thirty-one minutes against Panama, local news reported. Previously, Jerry Bengston tied the match against El Salvador on January 18. For live score updates Saturday, click HERE.


#456173 - 01/24/13 08:45 AM Re: Belize Advances to the Copa Centroamericano [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

What’s next for Belize’s Football selection?

It was a proud moment when the National Selection “A” team Belize scored the winning goal against Nicaragua at the Estadio National de Costa Rica inching closer to the July Gold Cup. It was not until the final minutes of play that Belizeans savored the victory when Super striker, Deon McCauley secured the glorious goal.  President of the Football Federation of Belize, Ruperto Vicente was with the team for the historic win; he returned to the jewel this morning. Vicente told Duane Moody what lies ahead for the football team.

Duane Moody, Reporting

The final game between Belize and Nicaragua in Costa Rica for the 2013 Copa Centro Americana Games on Tuesday night had Belizeans here at home on the edge of their seats. As the winning goal by Belize was scored by Deon McCauley in the last few minutes of the game, Belize’s spot in the Gold Cup in July was looking like a real possibility. And on Tuesday night, the draw between Costa Rica and Guatemala solidified the team’s spot to the Gold Cup. President of the Football Federation of Belize, Ruperto Vicente, says the team’s mission was achieved.

Ruperto Vicente

Ruperto Vicente, President, F.F.B.

“The players went in with a mission to become successful; to become at least fifth in the tournament and they also had a vision and the vision was to get to the Gold Cup. And with the achievement of the national football team, we can safely say that we are in the Gold Cup. I’ll be honest with you, we were on the edge of our seats as well because if you understand football, one – nil is never a secure lead and once a team is leading one – nil and the team comes back and scores a goal at you, it becomes easier for them to score a second goal; because they would have a momentum. So the strategy was to go into the second half and play a defensive came and then counter attack.”

Vicente, who returned this morning from Costa Rica, says that while the Belize team does not have a strong midfield, their defense is formidable. Costa Rica, which is favored to win the tournament, is impressed by the strength of Belize’s national team.

Ruperto Vicente

“We have an excellent chance of winning against Costa Rica. And if we go back with the strategy that we had because even the Costa Rican coach had said, listen there is no way I could have won against a team that has a solid defense. I cannot go up against a wall. And that’s how they have described the Belize team. And so certainly we are on a good stage and we are working hard and it is all because the players are dedicated, they like what they are getting this time around; we got them to feel comfortable and of course the coaching staff is doing a wonderful job in preparing them for these tournaments. It speaks volume of our athletes. It means that we have natural athletes here and all we need to do is invest in them and nurture the talents that we have and expose it to the world. And now our players have been exposed, some of them will get some contracts and will go into professional football.”

There are three games left in the Copa Centro Americana Tournament; Belize versus Honduras on Friday and Costa Rica versus Panama. The winners from each match will then face off for the first and second place titles.  The Copa tournament is a qualifier to the Gold Cup and Vicente says that during the next six months, intense training will be held for the players.

Ruperto Vicente

“This team spent two to three months together in preparation and that is limited number of time to prepare a national team. These players that we have are committed. They understand what we wanted to achieve as a federation. They got that but we needed more time to prepare for a tournament such as this one. But we will now have six months to prepare for the Gold Cup so that gives us a little more time to prepare the national team and to prepare midfield players as well who will perform for us next time around.”

To prepare the team for this tournament, over two hundred thousand dollars have been spent all with the support of the Belize Bank Limited, Telemedia and Tony Zabaneh. Duane Moody for News Five.

The team returns on Monday.

Channel 5

FFB Hyped For Centro Semi's, Looking Ahead to GOLD Cup

As we told you at the top of our newscast, Belize's National "A" Team qualified for the first time in its history of participating in the UNCAF's Copa Centroamericana.

The team remains in Costa Rica tonight - as it preps for Friday night's semi-final match against Honduras. But, while they keep their eyes on this prize, they're also looking to the horizon: the prestigious Gold Cup, which will be played in July in the US at some of the finest football stadiums in the U.S and against 11 other countries including Canada, Cuba, Haiti, Martinique, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States.

Indeed, it is a time of excitement in football circles, and after less than one year as President of the FFB, Ruperto Vicente is on top of the world. He returned to Belize today after watching history being made yesterday. He explained that the international community, which was skeptical of Belize, is now stunned by the team's performance thus far:

Ruperto Vicente - President, FFB
"I am very excited about the performance from our national team in Costa Rica. Certainly, the other Central American countries were not expecting Belize to perform so well, and they did not believe us when we said to them that we're here to surprise them. So, certainly, our national team has perform well, and we're excited about it."

Daniel Ortiz
"What is the next step for the Belize team? Where do we go now?"

Ruperto Vicente
"Well, right now, we got to play on Friday to determine the first, second, third, and fourth place position in the Central American tournament. We're going to be playing against Honduras on Friday, and the winner of that game will play the winner of the game between Costa Rica and Panama. Then, the loser of our game will play the loser of that same. But, that already propelled us; our victory yesterday already propelled us into the Goal Cup Tournament, which is going to be played in the United States in July. So, that's the way forward for our national football team. Belizeans have been giving my administration, and my presidency of the Football Federation of Belize the support that we need. The emotional support has always been there, but what we need now is the financial support behind this emotion because we now have to maintain a national team. We cannot dismantle this national team; we have got to keep it together for July, and for World Cup 2018. In tournaments like this, for the first time, we're going to be sharing the winnings with our national team players. They deserve it; they worked hard for it. It is only fair that we give that national team the respect that they deserve."

Belize plays Honduras on Friday at 5:30 p.m.; if they win they will play in Sunday's final; if they lose, they will play in the 3rd place match. Either outcome would be considered a major international upset.

Channel 7

#456270 - 01/25/13 08:19 AM Re: Belize Advances to the Copa Centroamericano [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

National Team Relaxed, Ready For Semifinal Game

Tonight (Friday) evening at 5:30 in San Jose, Costa Rica, the Belize National Football Team will play in the Copa Centro Americana semi-finals against Honduras. The stakes are high - and so is the sense of anticipation, as the entire nation waits to see if Belize can shock the world.

But, carrying the weight of the dreams of an entire country on your shoulders isn't easy and so we wondered about the team's preparation process for tomorrow's game. Assistant coach, Charlie Slusher told 7News via phone this evening, that the players have been trying to unwind and rest up.

But, they are not as tense as you might think. He, along with several other players, explained that now that the pressure of qualifying is off them, they will play tomorrow's came with comfort and confidence, enjoying it instead of constantly being on edge:..

Charles Slusher, Assistant Coach, National Team
"Yesterday we took a day off and we took the team for an outing to visit the volcanoes in Costa Rica. Today we forget about all the celebration or whatever and we start dreaming again because at the end of the day we are thinking if there is a possibility that we can win this tournament then we go all out for that to happen. We went to train this morning, we are doing recovery getting the muscles ready for the game tomorrow. We know the entire country was behind us and it's kind of inspire the guys to want to do better and better and I know that the team would have never done it if the country of Belize was not behind us and we are very happy and thankful that the country was supporting the team all the way. Belizeans not just in Belize but all over the world, on Facebook and all the news - everybody was behind the team and the players knew that and it really inspired them. We are hoping that now since the weight - a big weight have been taken off the backs of the players because coming and the pressure of trying to qualify for the gold cup was the real deal and since we have accomplished that now the guys can play more freely, they can play the way they used to play, the way they can play because we still believe the team that is out there can do much better."

Trevor Lennon, Forward
"It's not every time that it will be your best game. The first game I didn't play that well, but they still had faith in me and I came back and I think the other games I played good because it's not a position that I usually play of defense - they put me in a position that they believe I can do well. I just believed in myself that I can do it too and I did it."

Elroy Smith, Defense
"It's all about being focus, talking to one another. The communication was a really important there because you really have to talk for your partner to know who is behind him and how he is supposed to move and stuff like that. The communication is what helps us because it makes it easier for us play."

Woodrow West, Goalkeeper
"Compare to Belmopan Bandits and out here is 2 different level and yes you feel that pressured because you know you want to qualify. It was kind of hard but we knew that we could do it."

The game starts at 5:30 p.m. tonight. It will air live on channel 7 followed by a late news at 7:30.

Channel 7

#456576 - 01/28/13 07:33 AM Re: Belize Advances to the Copa Centroamericano [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
El Salvador nips Belize, takes 3rd at Copa Centroamericana

Nelson Bonilla scored in the second half to boost El Salvador to a 1-0 victory over upstart Belize to earn third place at the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana on Sunday.

The El Salvadorans, who ended a six-game winless streak in the competition, equaled their best finish at Copa. The clinched third place for a fifth time (1995, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2013).

Belize easily surpassed its best Copa placement and has conceded one goal or less in five of its last six UNCAF encounters.

Both sides booked spots at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which will be hosted by the United States from July 7-28.

Bonilla scored the game’s lone goal in the 50th minute. He finished off series of passes with a close-range shot at Estadio Nacional.

Belize’s best opportunity came two minutes prior, when Deon McCauley, Central American team’s top goal-scorer, sent a shot from barely inside the midfield stripe that almost caught goalkeeper Derby Carillo out of his net. The shot, however, sailed just high of the goal.


#456698 - 01/29/13 08:39 AM Re: Belize Advances to the Copa Centroamericano [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Belize's National Team Loses Respectably To El Salvador

Belizeans here at home and around the world were abuzz over the past few days as Belize’s pride and joy, the Jaguars of Belize participated in the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana. Social networks and media houses throughout Belize featured stories, articles and posts on the level of play Belize has achieved. Belizeans once more had reason to believe in Belizean football and in a brighter future for the sport both locally and internationally. In this tournament alone, Belize managed to make history by advancing to the Copa Ora tournament, winning their very first Central American professional team, qualifying for the semifinals and placement match, and signing two of its national players to professional ball clubs. Reporter Hipolito Novelo recapped yesterday’s third place match against El Salvador.

Hipolito Novelo- Reporting

The brand new national stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica came to life yesterday with the two final matches of the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana. In the first game of the day, Belize took the field for the last time dressed in their white jerseys to face off against El Salvador in the third place match. Belizeans across the world tuned in to watch their National Selection make history for the second time in playing for a placement game, especially since the team was referred to as the Cinderella Team of Central America.

With the blow of the whistle the ball was put in play and El Salvador controlled the tempo of the game from the get go. It only took a couple of plays before El Salvador attacked Belize’s goal defended by Wilson Woodrow West, undoubtedly the most valuable goalkeeper of the tournament. Play after play, El Salvador attacked and kept Belizeans at the edge of their seat. With a great defensive effort, Belize managed to hold El Salvador to a zero to zero halftime score.

Belize moved the ball first to start the second half and immediately threatened to go up first on the score board, but the Salvadoran keeper was attentive to the play. Unfortunately for Belize’s National Selection, and Belizeans around the world, the wind was taken out of everyone when El Salvador capitalized on a defensive error, finding the back of the net for the one to nothing lead. Belize established their defense once more and attacked with everything they had to find the equalizer, but as close as the shots at goal got, it was just that, close but no cigar.

West continued to make save after save holding strong not allowing El Salvador to widen their lead. At the end of the ninety minute regulation time and three additional minutes, the whistle blew sounding the end of the game. With that, Belize finished the tournament in fourth place and El Salvador in third.

Despite falling short of third place, Belize won much more than a game, Belize won world recognition and respect among the football world. For a team counted out before the tournament started, qualifying for the Copa Ora in second place only opened the eyes of the world to the potential of Belize football.

The team arrived today and held a press conference in Belize City where our reporter Elmer Cornejo was this evening and we’ll bring you highlights of that story in tomorrow’s newscast.


#456701 - 01/29/13 08:53 AM Re: Belize Advances to the Copa Centroamericano [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

McCauley, Belize shine brightly at Copa

Deon McCauley has scored goals before - plenty of them.

The Belize striker was so prolific in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup that his eleven goals - scored over the course of the first and second rounds -- still lead the region in the run-up to Brazil 2014.

But none of those World Cup qualifying goals will have proved more timely or valuable to the nation as a whole than the shot he tapped past Nicaraguan goalkeeper Denis Espinoza, on the final match day in Group A of the 2013 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana.

"It felt unbelievable, incredible," McCauley said of the goal. "There aren't words that can express how good it felt to get that goal at that time in the game, it's unbelievable."

The goal, which came in second half stoppage time, gave Belize a 2-1 win over Nicaragua - the nation's first-ever victory at the competition after 23 games.

Just as importantly, McCauley's strike handed Belize three valuable points. After a tie with Guatemala earlier in the phase, the Jaguars finished as runner-up in Group A, which gave them an automatic berth in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The feat qualifies as perhaps the most important in the nation's sporting history.

"In Belize, everybody's very, very happy," beamed McCauley. "It's insane in Belize right now, everyone is happy for us and the team. My family is happy, I'm happy."

One of the more interesting stories to come out of this year's UNCAF event revolves around the Jaguars' breakout at the international level. The smallest Central American nation by a long shot, with just 300,000 inhabitants, Belize had only had four draws from eight previous appearances tournament appearances.

That all changed in Costa Rica, where a fearless squad led by Costa Rican coach LeRoy Sherrier Lewis has challenged all comers. After making the semifinals, the Jaguars fell just short in their bid to make the final, losing 1-0 to regional heavyweight Honduras.

"I feel very good, because I have accomplished a lot," finished McCauley. "I think that Belize accomplished a lot too. We need for us to just keep working hard and hopefully things will get better."

After their performance in Costa Rica, things are already that much better for McCauley and the Jaguars. The goal of participating in the 2013 Gold Cup locked up and Belize now takes on El Salvador for third place in the Copa Americana, in a match to be played at 2:30 p.m. local time at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica.



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