Saturday, July 25, 2015. BMG: After fairly easy matchups with the Cayman Islands and Dominican Republic in the first two rounds of FIFA World Cup qualifying for Russia 2018, the road begins to get tough for the Belize Jaguars in the upcoming Rounds 3 and 4.
Today’s Round 3 draw in St. Petersburg, Russia, saw the national side paired with an old foe in the Canucks of Canada. Revenge will be on the minds of the current Jaguars, some of whom played a part in the two-leg 8-0 humiliation in the qualifying for the 2006 World Cup. Belize had to move its home leg to Canada due to the lack of a home stadium; the FFB Stadium in Belmopan will host the Canadians in September after the away leg. Canada started their journey with a 6-0 domination of Dominica in Round 2, while Belize entered uncharted territory after seeing off the Dominican Republic 5-1 after two legs.
If Belize makes it to the fourth round, they will face the likes of Mexico, a regional powerhouse that has never failed to qualify for the World Cup and walloped a young Jaguars team 9-0 over two legs in 2008 in the second round of 2010 World Cup qualifying; Honduras, who beat us in our last two meetings in the Copa Centroamericana but have never met us in World Cup qualifying; and either El Salvador or Curacao.
The rest of the Round 3 CONCACAF ties are: Grenada-Haiti; Jamaica-Nicaragua; St. Vincent/Grenadines vs Aruba; Antigua/Barbuda-Guatemala. The winners of the former two ties play Costa Rica and Panama in Round 4; the latter two are up against the United States and Trinidad and Tobago.
Ties will be played between August 31 and September 8, with the Canada-Belize matches slated for September 4 and 8. Go Jaguars!
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