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Belize National Football Team resumes training before World Cup qualifying game against Nicaragua

In less than a month, the national football team of Belize, the Jaguars, will be playing against Nicaragua as they continue their journey to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022. In preparation for the critical qualifier game, the 'A' team has been called to camp in Belmopan City to continue training before facing the Nicaraguan team.

The game will take place in Managua, Nicaragua, on June 4th at the Estadio Nacional de Futbol. The second match, known as the home game, is expected to occur in Belize later in June. This will depend on whether there are further relaxations of the current COVID-19 regulations which prohibit contact sports. The 'A' team counts with the reinforcement of talented island footballers, including Asrel Sutherland and Jordan Casanova playing defense and Jessie Smith playing midfield.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun

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Belize Jaguars Prepare to Face Nicaragua on Friday

The Belize Jaguars are anticipating a big win on Friday night when they do battle against Nicaragua in an away match.� Belize's national team is participating in the first round of World Cup Qualifiers and having lost its inaugural match against Haiti, won convincingly in its second outing against Turks and Caicos a few weeks later.� But will the Jaguars be able to make it past the Central American region?� News Five's Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

It is do or die for the Jaguars as they prepare to face Nicaragua on Friday night in Managua.� The football match is the third to be played by Belize in a series of World Cup Qualifiers in the CONCACAF Nations League.� Having played against Haiti and Turks and Caicos, the team, led by Captain Deon McCaulay, is set to take on its next opponent in a bid to advance to the another round of competition.

Deon McCaulay, Captain, Belize Jaguars

"I feel very optimistic, I feel like the players we have here can do the job.� I mean we have a lot of younger players and experienced players as well, so I feel like we are ready for the game.� It was unfortunate that situation in Haiti but we have now moved past that and we are focused on Friday, like I said.� That's the most important thing for us to focus on and as professional players we have to learn to adjust to situations and make the necessary sacrifices to move the team forward."

Moving the team forwards means defeating Nicaragua soundly on its home turf, a feat that may not be a walk in the park.

Marlon Kuylen, F.F.B. Executive

"The delegation left on Sunday at around midday and arrived in Nicaragua approximately twenty-four hours later and they traveled on a luxury liner bus and now they are well-rested and they are focused on the match at hand. We're in a must-win situation.� We need to beat Nicaragua and then hope that Nicaragua beats Haiti, then we will all be tied.� It would be a three-way tie in points and then the team with the best goal record would then advance."

For Team Belize, playing to win means adopting to the field of play.� It's nothing new for McCaulay but the responsibility falls on his shoulders to lead his teammates.

Deon McCaulay

"As professional players, we need to adjust, we need to adopt to anything, any obstacle that comes into our way and I feel, I do not feel pressured at all about this game.� I think it's eleven versus eleven.� The game is played on the field and so when that whistle blows and the team that is out there I am sure will give a hundred percent.� I mean, me personally I've been in these situations before so all I, as the captain, will do is to try and guide the younger players as best as possible, along with the coaching staff, and go out there and give it our hundred percent."

The state of readiness, according to coach Dale Pelayo sees the team poised for victory.� It began with a training session on Wednesday evening.

Dale Pelayo, Coach, F.F.B.

"Yesterday we started our preparation for the game in which we had our first training at five p.m. and that was a success.� This afternoon we have a technical meeting with the team, with the players and coaching staff and then we leave for final training at five p.m. which is the final training for the game on the pitch that we will be playing and so that is at seven p.m.� The readiness for the team is that we are focused, we are ready."

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Nicaragua 3, Belize 0

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The Belize National Football Team, the Jaguars, played an away match in the World Cup Qualifiers against Nicaragua on Friday, June 4th. The game took place at 7PM in Managua, Nicaragua, and is the third match the Belizean team will play in a series to qualify for the World Cup event in Qatar next year. While the Jaguars demonstrated much skill on the field, they fell short leading to a 3-0 victory for the Nicaraguan Selection.

The team traveled by bus to Nicaragua after flights could not be secured from Belize. It is believed that for this reason, some players did not join the group. San Pedro's Asrael Sutherland is one of the players that reportedly did not travel with the team. Some players expressed concerns about the long bus ride and the risks of COVID-19 as the road trip would take them through Guatemala and Honduras. Kuylen, said the team left the country on Sunday, May 30th at around midday. According to him, the Belizean delegation arrived in Nicaragua approximately 24 hours later. Kuylen said the Jaguars traveled in a luxury liner bus comfortably, and now they are ready for the game. "We are in a must-win situation," he said. "We need to beat Nicaragua and then hope that Nicaragua beats Haiti, then we will all be tied," Kuylen explained that if Nicaragua beats Haiti, then it would be a three-way tie in points, and then the team with the best goal record would advance to the next stage of the qualifiers.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun


Here's a video of the game:

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