Thursday, September 11, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: The Belize Jaguars were not able to replicate the success they enjoyed at the 2013 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana.
On Wednesday night they exited the competition without a win after being beaten 2-0 by El Salvador.
Belize played a largely more aggressive, ball-controlling style of play under coach Leroy Sherrier Lewis but their lack of defense and position resulted in three own-goals conceded in the first two games.
Elroy Smith and Jeromy James scored against Belize for Honduras in a 2-0 loss, and an error by goalkeeper Shane Moody-Orio was the difference in a 2-1 defeat to Guatemala.
Belize’s lone goal came from Deon McCaulay in the Guatemala loss.
In Saturday’s finals at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Honduras plays Nicaragua for fifth place; Panama face El Salvador for third; and Guatemala challenges defending champions and World Cup quarterfinalists Costa Rica for the title.
Belize’s only win in this tournament in 28 appearances dating back to 1993 was the one that propelled them to the 2013 Gold Cup, a 2-1 victory over Nicaragua.
The Copa Centroamericana champion plays in the centennial Copa America next year in the U.S., and the top five teams – if the fifth place finisher beats their rival from the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) in a playoff – qualify for next year’s Gold Cup.
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