Belize’s Verdes FC plays against Panama’s San Francisco FC tonight at Estadio Marcana in Panama for the second leg of the match against San Francisco. Last month, Verdes pulled off a historic win against San Francisco FC beating them 2 – 1 on home soil, their first victory of the champion’s league. We spoke to the Technical Director for Verdes FC Marvin Ottley earlier this evening as the team headed to the stadium where tonight’s game will be played.
Marvin Ottley, Technical Director Verdes FC: From our preparation leading up to this game and between yesterday and this morning I think mentally we are right there roughly about 85-90%. We are mentally prepared and knowing what the game is all about, knowing what the alternative in regards to resolve is all about. We had a very strong meeting yesterday and I think we got some positive feedback in regards to how players feel and what they want from tonight.
Reporter: What is the strategy for tonight’s game? When we were the home team I noticed that we were aiming for goals. We were very aggressive in terms of going for that goal. Is there a change in game play for this upcoming match?
Marvin Ottley, Technical Director Verdes FC: Well certainly. We want to ensure that we stay in the game for as long as we possibly can. There is early defensive approach towards the game. We will then rely on our counterattack capabilities as much as possible to go and score early. This is a game we want to win so practically our first approach is to try and defend starting the game as long as possible to ensure that we could stay within the reach of scoring to win or scoring to tie or something like that.
Reporter: Is there a feeling of pressure to deliver the ways you guys did on the last match with San Francisco?
Marvin Ottley, Technical Director Verdes FC: Well of course because, the game has a lot of positive implications for us and for the country of Belize. Right now as it is, looking at the CONCACAF standings, and the teams within Central America a win for us ties us with Nicaragua and Honduras for the best Central American team in the tournament. So that there is a lot of pressure, but it’s not our responsibility, the primary thing for us is to make sure we declare a strong game and them the outcome will determine itself.
As it stands, it would take a miracle for Verdes to advance to the next round. Winning this game would mean they tie with Mexico’s Queretaro with 7 points each in group C, but because of Queretaro’s 8 goal advantage over Verdes, Queretaro would still advance. But, that fact has been placed on the back burner and according to Ottley their main goal for tonight is to come out victorious and once again put Belize on the football map. The game starts at 8 pm Belize time.