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Posted: Saturday, March 27, 2021. 6:44 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Belize is going to play offensively against Turks and Caicos on Tuesday as opposed to the defensive strategy the team presented against Haiti on Thursday.

“We are trying to identify where their weaknesses lie and where their strength is so that we can put our best foot forward,” Assistant Coach Marvin Ottley said in an FFB virtual conference in Haiti and Belize earlier today.

Head Coach Dale Pelayo said that Belize has to stick to its possession style of play.

“We didn’t read the game appropriately in the midfield adjusting to the space that we had instead of playing long ball,” Pelayo said. “Our game is to penetrate through the midfield to create opportunities up front for our strikers. So, if we start to go long, we are only giving away the ball. That’s why I was trying to get the team to focus on holding position. We were not disciplined to stick to how we train and we didn’t have the opportunities offensively.”

Pelayo said he will make adjustments for the Turks and Caicos game.

“I can assure you that the next game we will be more offensive minded,” Pelayo said. “We will have more possession of the ball because we know what our capabilities are with the players we will be bringing into the starting line up.”

In the Haiti game Team Belize could not make the transition to offense. Jordi Polanco, our creative midfielder, was knocked up by the Haitians from the onset. So, captain Deon McCauklay was assigned defensive duties severely cutting our offensive productivity.

“I have to do whatever is best for the team,” McCaulay said. “At the end of day I’m the captain, I’m the leader, if they need me to play defensive the whole 90 minutes I’m going to play defensively the whole 90 minutes. If I get one opportunity to go forward, I’m going forward. Whatever is most important for the team I will do the job.”McCaulay said we too take advantage of the breaks.

“When you’re playing competitive matches against other countries it’s hard and maybe that’s why the game didn’t come in our direction. But against teams like Haiti, Mexico or the USA, you’re only going get one or two opportunities and I think we weren’t clinical enough to put those away,” the captain said.

Goalkeeper and co-captain Woodrow West said that not having played football for a year affected them against Haiti and that otherwise Team Belize could have given Haiti a run for their money.

“We need to capitalize on the breaks that we get up front,” West said. “If it’s just one or two, we need to get those goals because I think if we had scored on those opportunities it would have changed the whole game and given us more confidence.”

“As to Turks and Caicios, I believe that our team is much better than them, but football is played on the field and we need to go out there and play our hearts out this time for three points,” West said.

“I commend all the players for the effort they put on Thursday,” McCaulay said. “I think it’s a lesson for us and the players are going to come out and play to the best of their abilities.”

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