This afternoon, grateful fans met Belize’s national football team at the Philip Goldson International Airport to celebrate the team’s historic accomplishment in the Copa Centroamericana tournament just concluded in host country Costa Rica.
Belize, for the first time ever in the tournament, won a match; lost three matches very respectably, 1-0; and drew against our archrival, Guatemala; and again, for the first time in our history, won a slot in the CONCACAF Gold Cup to be held in July in the United States. We were “the buzz” at a tournament that featured several countries that have played in the World Cup.
The “bird” touched down at the PGIA at approximately 3:42, and after interviews with the local media, our boys headed by bus for the Brodies Parking Lot at Mile 2 ½ on the Philip Goldson Highway, where they intermingled with their many fans, while their remarkable accomplishments in Costa Rica were “hyped up.”
Thereafter, the team was taken on a motorcade through the city, with fans lining the route, which included Central American Boulevard, Cemetery Road and Albert Street, ending at Bird’s Isle, where the team was feted, after playing five grueling games in nine days.
The tournament ended yesterday, Sunday, with the host country, Costa Rica, being crowned champion for the seventh time. Honduras, three-time winner of the tournament, came in second, El Salvador third, Belize fourth, Panama fifth, Guatemala sixth and Nicaragua seventh. The top five teams have advanced to the Gold Cup.
For a full report, see stories on sports pages 21.