LADYVILLE, Belize District, Fri. June 12, 2015–A confident Belize Jaguars team arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) in high spirits shortly after midday today, after a 2-1 victory over the Dominican Republic’s national football team in the first match of their home-and-away series yesterday, Thursday.
Their elation was bolstered by boisterous relatives, friends and fans who greeted the team, which is now one step closer to reaching a historic third round in the 2018 World Cup Qualifying games.
Both of Belize’s goals were scored by the country’s most prolific goleador, Deon McCaulay, who explained that, while he was happy to deliver for his team in the Dominican Republic, he is also looking forward to a positive outcome in the return game, which will take place at the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) Stadium this Sunday, June 14.
He said, “I’m very happy to be back with the team. Everybody has given me all the love because they know that once Deon is back, there will be goals. Thank God that I was able to prove myself once again, and I’m looking forward to the game on Sunday, hoping for the same results. Once we come out as a team and work hard, anything is possible.”
McCaulay now boasts an impressive 19 international goals which, he explained, means a lot, because he is trying to reach his target of 20 international goals, which puts him in the class of world renowned footballers such as Robin Van Persie, the captain of the Netherlands national team who plays as a striker for Manchester United, and Luis Suarez, a striker from the Uruguayan national team who plays for the Spanish club FC Barcelona.
Defenders Ian Gaynair and Elroy Smith arrived on an earlier flight along with midfielder Danny Jimenez, and we spoke to them while they awaited the arrival of their teammates.
Gaynair said that the team went into the game with all intents to make a mark on the scoreboard, because of the fact that away goals are twice the value of goals scored on one’s home field.
He added, however, that before the players get ahead of themselves, they have to ensure that they remain focused on Sunday’s game.
Smith described the DR as a “good team,” but mentioned that the Jaguars were able to pull off the victory due to the work of the individual players and the team itself.
Jimenez attributed the win to the fact that the team has been preparing for months leading up to this match, but highlighted that McCaulay’s presence was a major factor in the game.
Belize can advance to the 3rd round of qualifying games for the 2018 World Cup with either a win, a draw, or even a one-nil loss on Sunday.