BELIZE CITY, Wed. Sept. 15, 2021– At the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 World Cup Qualifiers this afternoon in Curacao, our U20 Women Jaguars fell by a 3-2 score to Suriname. A halftime update from FFB Communications Director Yashmin Juan had Belize leading 2-1, an encouraging situation against a powerful Suriname team that had led Grenada 5-1 in their Monday meeting, before Grenada managed a late goal to make it a 5-2 score. Unfortunately, Belize was unable to hold the lead, conceding two second half goals. A Belize rising star, forward Khalydia Velasquez may not have been noticed by the Suriname brain trust, and she struck twice in first half, including one from the penalty spot (16’ & 41’ PK) before getting special attention from their defenders. Suriname had opened the scoring early (7’), but Belize’s defence kept them at bay until the intermission.
Renowned Belizean striker Kaite Jones was not in today’s starting line-up, entering the game at halftime, but was unable to penetrate the Suriname defence today. Suriname tied the score at the 55th minute, and were rewarded for their relentless pressure with a Belize own goal (S. Thomas) in the 76th to give them the 3-2 victory.
It was a disappointing loss for our Belizean girls, but still we were competitive, maintaining 46% ball possession to Suriname’s 54%. It was nothing like the lopsided losses in 2017: 5-1 to Nicaragua and 10-0 to Costa Rica; and in 2019: 9-1 to Guatemala, 5-0 to Cuba, and 3-0 to El Salvador, before ending with a respectable 2-1 loss to Honduras.
Belize U20 Women Jaguars’ line-up vs Suriname: goalkeeper – Dennisa Pineda; defenders – Saudy Rivera, Shante Chacon, Jesselle Conorque (Shanell Thomas at 63’) and Carlene Tillett; midfielders – Tanya Garbutt (Kaite Jones at halftime 45’), Ashley Rodriguez and Reah Burgess; and forwards – Alisha Terry, Khalydia Velasquez (Janivi Quiroz at 81’) and Shendra Casimiro. Head Coach – Wayne Casimiro.
With three teams in our group, and only the group winner advancing, Belize needed at least a draw against Suriname to keep hopes alive before our match on Friday with Grenada. With their second win to top the group, Suriname has already qualified for next year’s U20 Championships, while the Belize vs Grenada match on Friday is just for the record.
Nevertheless, we trust that coach Wayne Casimiro will get our U20 Women Jaguars to regroup and have a good showing on Friday when they clash with Grenada. Le’s go, Belize!