BELIZE CITY, Thurs. June 16, 2022
The Belize Jaguars almost pulled off the improbable a week ago at the FFB Stadium against undefeated League B Group D leader French Guiana, when right wing/midfielder Horace Avila pounced on a French Guiana defensive miscue at the 74th minute, but had to settle for a draw, the only point we would garner in 4 Nations League outings in June, after League B top scorer Joel Sarrucco of French Guiana netted the equalizer at the 89th minute.
On Tuesday, June 14, in the return match in French Guiana, our Jaguars played a better game, but came up short, 1-nil, on another strike by French Guiana’s Sarrucco, this one at the 80th minute.
Belize starting eleven: goalkeeper – #1 Charles Tillett; defenders – #3 Norman Anderson (#23 Donell Arzu at 66’), #5 Eugene Martinez, #17 Deshawon Nemhard, #18 Evral Trapp (capt.) (#2 Aaron Lopez at 83’); midfielders – #8 Warren Moss (#6 Jovaunn Ramos at 83’), #13 Luis Torres (#21 Nana Mensah at 66’), #14 Darrel Myvett, #19 Horace Avila (#10 Eldon Reneau at 58’); forwards – #9 Deon McCaulay, #20 Krisean Lopez. Only substitute goalkeeper, #12 Isaac Castillo was not used from the substitute bench. Head coach – David Perez Asensio. Referee – Pierre Luc Lauziere of Canada.
Despite some harsh Facebook criticisms of our national team coach, David Perez Asensio, at this sports desk we have to reserve such criticisms for the limited hand dealt coach David, and which we have to acknowledge that he handled exceedingly well, despite Belize ending up at the bottom of Group D and in grave danger of being relegated to League C.
French Guiana leads Group D with 10 pts, next is Guatemala with 7 pts, Dominican Republic with 4 pts, and Belize with 1 pt. Belize has a game each remaining against Guatemala and the Dominican Republic to try and avoid relegation to League C when the Nations League tournament resumes in March of 2023.
We refuse to scapegoat coach David Perez for whatever didn’t go right with our Nations League drive. If there is blame to issue out anywhere, we would be inclined to put some on the FFB leadership, who allowed the Premier League of Belize to languish in limbo for months because they did not approve of its elected president; and the hastily assembled “Top League” did not provide the level of competitive intensity to best prepare our players for international combat.