Posted: Wednesday, March 31, 2021. 5:34 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Belize Men’s National Football Team returned home to the sounds of Garifuna drums this afternoon at the Phillip Goldson International Airport.
The first one out was assistant coach Marvin Ottley followed by players and technical staff.
The Belize Jaguars were arriving from the Dominican Republic where on Tuesday they routed Turks and Caicos Islands 5-0 in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers. A few days earlier, they had lost to Haiti 2-0 in Port-au-Prince.
In the victory over Turks and Caicos, Belize scored two goals by Carlos Bernardez and each from Jesse August, Deshawon Nembhard and Deon McCaulay.
Bernardez first goal was a superb bicycle kick in stoppage time at the end of the first half.
“I saw the ball coming and I was going to head it, but then I realized it was coming behind me and I didn’t even think of it, I just pulled up and came up with a bicycle kick and got the goal. It feels good,” Bernardez said .
The two goals are Bernardez first goals for Belize.
Bernardez plays for Platense in the Honduran professional league and is traveling to Puerto Cortes today.
For his part, Jordy Polanco said that he felt better about the second game.
“I wasn’t satisfied with my performance against Haiti and wanted to play well and win against Turks and Caicos and we got it. So, we feel good about it,” Polanco said.
Polanco who now plays for Verdes had been out for two years with pubalgia, a groin injury. Just as he was returning to play last year, the season was interrupted by the pandemic. So, he hadn’t seen much action in a very long while. He said it took him long to recover but that he is doing well now and looks forward for the final match against Nicaragua in this World Cup qualifying round in June.
Midfielder Nahjib Guerra who entered Tuesday’s game in the 56th minute was satisfied that he had played and helped the team. His best break came in the final minute of the match.
“I got the ball from (goalkeeper Woodrow) West,” Guerra said, “and I ran up the right flank and as I got closer I decided to take a shot, the keeper deflected it, but luckily Deon McCaulay was there to tap in.”
After being in a bubble since February 22, the players finally went home on arrival.
They’ll now await the next call up by the Football Federation of Belize to prepare for the June match against Nicaragua.
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