In the first game tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama will have to battle it out to see who will win the 5th and final spot in the Gold Cup.
Belizean fans are certainly nervous about our 5:30 p.m. encounter against defending Copa Centroamericana champion Honduras in the first semifinal. (Costa Rica and El Salvador clash in the other semifinal.) But it is so much better to be in the semifinal, and be sure of our Gold Cup berth, than in the shoes of Guatemala and Panama today.
The norm in previous years was for our Belize national team to pack up and come home immediately after their group-phase games. Not so this time. We have two more games to play. The two semifinal losers will play for 3rd place on Sunday; and the two winners square off for the Copa Centroamericana 2013 championship.
All the foreign media people and the big name stars on Honduras are not giving Belize much of a chance tomorrow. But even in the worst of times, our boys are not known for giving up. According to a concacaf.com report today, “the Catrachos take on the tournament’s surprise package, Belize, at 5:30 p.m. local time” on Friday. Hmm.
Try to relax and enjoy the game, Belizeans. These are our first two games in preparation for the Gold Cup in July.