Last Friday, youths, from Belize and Guatemala went up against each other in a friendly football match at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex. As a result, Belize’s Under 17 team emerged victorious over Guatemala’s U-17 team, two to nothing. Love News spoke to the head coach, Dale Pelayo Sr., who said the game is part of a three-game series.
Coach Dale Pelayo: “And in any sports along as Belize is going up against Guatemala that’s a rivalry that no one wants to lose, neither Belize or Guatemala and for sure for us as Belizeans playing at home it was definitely a match that we didn’t want to lose with this dispute about Guatemala claiming our land and the ICJ dispute. For me as the head coach it was emotional and one that we really took in depth, we had nothing to give away, we had no land to give away and we had no goals to give away. The first half of the ball game was around the 20 odd minutes and in the first half of the ball game one Jalin Pelayo who plays with the Belmopan Bandits from Belmopan scored the first goal from a free kick and we went into the locker room 1 to 0 in the first half and we focused on our objectives going into the second half about what we wanted to do and so while the game resumed on in the second half our guys were focused. We had numerous opportunity but we were unable to get a goal earlier in the second half but we kept pressing forward and so in the latter part of the second half we had a second goal from one Eldon Reneau from Belize City who played with the warriors football club and that is how victorious we were. 2 – 0 over Guatemala.”
Early next year, the under 17 team will travel to Guatemala to go up against Guatemala’s under 17 team in the second match.