Sports / Weekend News

Jaguars to face Canada in next qualifying round

By Alexis R. Milan, Staff Reporter

The Belize Jaguars are set to face Canada’s national team in the third round of the CONCACAF qualifiers. The selection was made during a World Cup drawing ceremony in Russia on Saturday.

The first leg will be played on September 4th at the BMO Field in Toronto Canada, with the second leg set for September 8th at the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) Stadium in Belmopan City.

Canada is currently 103rd in the FIFA world rankings. Belize is 118th. 

“We can say Belize is a team that has made positive and continuous progress. That’s good for us because it won’t be easy to pass this eliminatory round. We need to focus on these first two games with a lot of intensity”, Canada coach Benito Floro said.

The Jaguars are fresh off of a recent dismantling of the Dominican Republic in round 2 of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, who they beat 5-1 over two legs.  

The six third-round winners advance to Round Four, joining the six top-ranked teams: Costa Rica, Mexico, U.S., Honduras, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. Those 12 teams will be placed in three round-robin groups, playing from November to September 2016. The top two from each pool advance to the next round.  

The draw was hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday. He was joined by outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter in the first major public event for the organization’s leadership since American and Swiss criminal investigations of corruption in world soccer were unsealed two months ago. 

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