The Belize National Under-20 football girls, the Lady Jaguars, returned to a warm welcome from the Football Federation of Belize on Monday, August 26, after scoring seven goals in three matches at the UNCAF Under-20 Football Championships in Comayagua. They were on the receiving end for 10 goals and lost all three games each by a one goal margin.
FFB President Ruperto Vicente had only words of praise for Belize’s football girls when the FFB hosted a press conference at the Radisson Fort George Hotel upon their arrival on Monday afternoon, because it was the best performance ever by a Belize female team in Central American competition.
Orange Walk’s Giselle Baeza and Dangriga’s Shayama Caliz had led the Belize offensive in their opening match against Honduras at the Carlos Miranda Stadium on Wednesday, August 20.
Belmopan Triple B’s Sabrina Eiley and Dangriga’s Naomi Gamboa supported their attacks on the wings, backed up by Belize City’s Kursha Pollard and Shandy Vernon at midfield.
Team captain Beatrice Alfaro of Sacred Heart College, Cayo district, led the Belize defense with the help of Erica Milligan, Nisha Augustine and Corby Rhaburn. But Honduras’ Linda Moncada escaped their marking to drill the first goal past Belize’s goalkeeper Marlenie Draysdale after 23 minutes of action to lead 1-0 at intermission.
Giselle Baeza drilled a shot past Honduras’ goalkeeper Kelin Palma Murillo to equalize 1-1 some 13 minutes into the second half, but Lisbeth Bonilla scored some 12 minutes before the long whistle giving Honduras the 2-1 victory. Honduras went on to win the championship by a 1-0 victory over Guatemala on Sunday, August 25, finishing with seven points from two wins and a draw. Guatemala ranked second with six points from two wins and a loss.
The Belize girls scored three goals in their second outing against Guatemala last Friday, August 23, but an autogoal gave the Chapinas the 4-3 victory. A scant five minutes of play had elapsed when Aisha Solorzano scored Guatemala’s first goal, but Shayama Caliz blasted a shot past Guatemala’s Yoseline Franco Marroquin to equalize for Belize six minute later. Caliz embarrassed Marroquin with a second goal to lead 2-1 after 27 minutes of action.
Solorzano equalized for Guatemala a minute later, but Belize’s efforts to secure the 2-2 draw fell flat when a defensive error by Belize’s Erica Milligan sent the ball into back of Draysdale’s goal to give Guatemala a 3-2 lead at intermission.
The second half was only four minutes underway when Baeza beat Marroquin to equalize again for Belize 3-3. Alas for the Lady Jaguars, Vivian Herrera scored a third goal five minutes later for the Guatemalans to win 4-3.
The Lady Jaguars also scored three goals against El Salvador who prevailed 4-3 on Sunday, August 25. A scant seven minutes of play had elapsed when Naomi Gamboa embarrassed Salvador’s goalkeeper Ingrid Gutierrez Orantes with Belize’s first goal, but Joseline Rivas equalized for El Salvador 18 minutes later. Only six minutes remained in the first half when Shayama Caliz scored a second goal for the Lady Jaguars to lead 2-1 at intermission.
Karisa Antonia equalized for El Salvador some 16 minutes into the second half, and Jennifer Gamez added a third goal seven minutes later. Katrine Herrera scored El Salvador’s fourth goal four minutes after that to lead 4-2. Sabrina Eiley embarrassed Orantes with a third goal for Belize late in the game, but the Jaguars were unable to equalize before the long whistle
El Salvador finished in third place with four points, after a 2-0 loss to Guatemala and a 2-2 draw with Honduras, while Belize placed fourth.