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Belize’s brief sojourn in 2009 UNCAF Nations Cup

Honduras beats Nicaragua 4-1, claims semifinal berth in Central American Nations Cup
 
1/24/2009 concacaf.com – TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras –
 
Three second-half goals gave Honduras a 4-1 victory over Nicaragua on Saturday and put the Catrachos into the semifinals of the Central American Nations Cup.
 
The victory ensured Honduras of a fourth straight trip to the CONCACAF Gold Cup and a ninth appearance in 10 tries.
 
El Salvador edged closer to a fourth appearance in its last five tries in the Gold Cup with a 4-1 victory over Belize earlier Saturday. The results left Honduras atop Group A with six points, two ahead of El Salvador with the two set to face off Monday night in the first-round finale.
 
Nicaragua is third with one point, just ahead of Belize. The top two advance to the semifinals of the Copa de Naciones Digicel de UNCAF while the third-place team will earn a playoff for fifth place and the last berth in the12-team Gold Cup field.
 
An own-goal by David Solorzano gave Honduras a 2-1 lead in the 65th minute, and Saul Martinez and Walter Martinez added goals in the final 17 minutes to complete the victory.
 
Playing without captain Amado Guevara, who was suspended after being red-carded in second-half injury time of Thursday’s 2-1 victory over Belize, Honduras led on Mario Rodriguez’s goal in the 16th minute. But Armando Reyes equalized in the 30th for Nicaragua, which is seeking its first trip to the Gold Cup.
 
In the earlier game, Alfredo Pacheco converted a pair of penalties in the first 30 minutes and El Salvador recovered from its opening 1-1 draw against Nicaragua on Thursday.
 
Jeromy James pulled Belize within a goal in the 73rd, but Ramon Sanchez restored the two-goal advantage two minutes later and Carlos Ayala added insurance in the 88th.
 
Costa Rica advances to Central American cup semis with 3-1 win over Guatemala
 
1/25/2009 concacaf.com – TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras –    
 
Costa Rica earned a seventh straight trip to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, beating Guatemala 3-1 on Sunday to reach the semifinals of the Central American Nations Cup.
 
Pablo Herrera and Roberto Segura scored second-half goals to guarantee the Ticos the Group B title and a place with Honduras in the final four of the Copa de Naciones Digicel de UNCAF.
 
Costa Rica is seeking a fourth straight Central American title and its victory on Sunday assured it would extend its streak of finishing no worse than fourth to all 10 UNCAF championships.
 
The result means Panama and Guatemala will play Tuesday for second place in Group B and the other berth in the semifinals. The third-place finisher will face off against the third-place finisher from Group A for the final berth in the Gold Cup.
 
 
Belize exits Nations Cup after 1-1 draw with Nicaragua
 
BELIZE CITY, Mon. Jan. 26, 2009
 
Earlier tonight, Belize failed to hold on to a 1-nil lead from an 18th minute Byron Usher goal against Nicaragua, who ended up drawing the game on a late goal. With its second draw in the tournament, Nicaragua has clinched third place in Group A, and will go on to play off against the third place finisher in Group B for the fifth UNCAF spot in the 12-team CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament. (Honduras defeated El Salvador, 2-0, in the second game tonight.)
 
Belize, meanwhile, will make its familiar early exit, having demonstrated yet again our individual potential, but obvious shortcomings in sophistication of our team play.  
 
Twenty years ago, in 1989, Belize’s Coke Milpros became the first Belizean team to play successfully through a qualifying round of CONCACAF club competition, when we defeated Nicaragua’s Diriangen General, 3-0, in Belize and drew with them, 1-1, in Nicaragua in the return match. In 2009, Nicaragua has apparently made a few strides, and will now be moving on, as once again the Belize national team returns home having failed to advance in a tournament. 
 
2009 Nations Cup 1st round results
   Group A
January 22: El Salvador 1 – Nicaragua 1; Honduras 2 – Belize 1
January 24: Belize 1 – El Salvador 4; Honduras 4 – Nicaragua 1
January 26: Nicaragua 1 – Belize 1; Honduras 2 – El Salvador 0
   Group B
January 23: Costa Rica 3 – Panama 0
January 25: Guatemala 1 – Costa Rica 3
January 27: Panama vs Guatemala
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