A Recap of Belize Football Game In Melchor
Last night, 7News told you about the friendly match between the Belize National “A” Team and the Guatemala Professional league team, Heredia Jaguares de Peten, which is currently the second place team in that country.
Our news team arrived back from Melchor late yesterday evening – which only gave us time for a brief snippet. But tonight, we have the full recap of a game which Belize easily dominated.
Daniel Ortiz reporting
The Friendly match began promptly at 3 at a three quarter full 'Estadio Olimpico De Melchor De Menchos' where we saw a handful of Belizeans mixed in with the mostly Guatemalan crowd. But, the Belizean players should have felt right at home on a surface that seemed much like the rough and tumble pitch at the MCC.
Both teams battled for possession, but slowly as the game progressed, the Belize National Team started to apply pressure to the Heredia defence. Quite a few times, the Belize team had good looks, but they became near misses.
Each opportunity Belize got, they tested the Heredia goalkeeper, keeping him alert and on his toes. Finally, with a little bit of space from his defenders, Trevor Lennon launched a shot from 18 yards away, which caught the goalkeeper off-guard, earning Belize a 1-nil lead.
The rest of the first half was relatively uneventful, but it did allow Belizean Head Coach Ian Mork to make mass substitutions to gauge the performance of the bench. Those players took the field, and they continued where the starting 11 left off, pressuring the goalkeeper with every opportunity they got.
About 14 minutes into the second half midfielder David Trapp seized an opportunity off a deflected pass, and put the ball pass the goalkeeper with seeming ease. That was quite impressive from the Belize selection which was roundly criticized in the Copa Centroamericana for having a deficiency in the midfield. In this game, both goals were scored from the perceived weak area of the team.
The rest of the game played in pretty much the same fashion, where Belize controlled majority possession of the ball, but Guatemala refused to give up any more goals.
Charlie Slusher, who is once again the Assistant Head Coach, told us he was content with today’s performance.
Charlie Slusher - Assistant Coach, Belize National Team
"We are very happy with the performance of the team. We started off a little bit rought but in the longer part it seems that the team is in better condition than the team we played and we kind of dominated the end of the game when it came to possession. Yes it was a 2-nil game but most of the second half we really dominated the game - having the confidence to holding the ball and touching the ball had been some of our weaknesses in the past. The key thing what today shows is that the new team has a lot of options. The guys that came in the second half - there was a sub zero change and they really played better than the starting eleven but what we have now in this team we didn't have in UNCAF tournament. We didn't have options, 1,2,3 options in UNCAF tournament but this team that is going into the Gold Cup have 1, 2,3 options."
Trevor Lennon - Defensive Midfielder, Belize National Team
"Like how I am a defensive, I only had one shot to take on the goal and my father always tells me 'you have to be like a sniper once you get one shot, you have to make it count'."
Woodrow West - Goalkeeper, Belize National Team
"This was one of the first game like a team game and it really looks good. The field didn't give us a good game but we still did our work and we need more games to get better."
And while the coaching staff recognizes the great potential in Belize’s football, the foresee that the national selection will have it tough when they play in the Gold Cup.
Ian Mork - Head Coach, Belize National Team
"A lot of our players with the environment that they are in week end and week out - it's an amateur environment, it's not a professional environment. But then we have to prepare ourselves to play against professionals and I think that's one of the main differences. We have not figured out a way off the field to still get a professional environment for these players but yet we're going out to play against millionaires on the field. I think that's a big challenge for us, I hope to see the changes in the future so that we can have elite level of organizations to really put these guys in a place where they are ready to go play in a professional club."
Belize plays against the Guatemala National “A” Team on June 11 in Antigua, Guatemala. And in a final bit of football news, the Government of Belize announced that they have pledged $50,000 toward the FFB for the team to travel to the US for the Gold Cup.
This came out of a meeting this afternoon between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and FFB Senior Vice President, Sergio Chuc; Vice President, Rawell Pelayo and Executive Member, Marlon Kuylen.