Belize’s Verdes FC played their debut match for the 2015 Scotia Bank Champions League at the FFB stadium last night after making its latest addition to the squad, bringing in three Brazilian players and star striker Deon McCauley. After an intense 95 minutes of game play, Verdes held their ground on home soi,l securing a draw. Emanuel Pech reports.
Waves of emotions rolled over the FFB football stadium in Belmopan last night as football fans across the country ventured to witness Verdes FC’s opening match against visiting opponent Queretaro for the first Scotia Bank CONCACAF champions league to be held in Belize since 2009. Last two years , Belize failed to qualify as the pitch was not up to CONCACAF standards. Many efforts have since gone into the football stadium at FFB all leading up to this point. The whistle blew at 8 pm mark and the game was on. The Mexican team Queretaro was bringing the pressure but Belize’s Verdes FC held their own. Queretaro held a 12 – 5 shot advantage but they never found the end of the net as Verdes’ star Goalkeeper Honduran National Benito Morreira rejected 6 shots on goal which helped Verdes FC secure a historic point in a 0-0 draw against Queretaro. And while the results were favorable to neither teams, Belize’s champions, clad in green, celebrated with the spectators. On the other hand, Queretaro’s manager Victor Manuel Vesutich was not very happy.
Victor Manuel Vesutich: Well honestly I don’t think the team played very well today, we are going home very angry. Part of this is because the referee was not good, permitting six intermissions from the goalkeeper that did not merit the entering of the medical assistants. It was an insult basically. The thing called fair play, CONCACAF has to take it more seriously because it’s an insult to public and it’s an insult to the teams.
Walter Salazar, Head coach of Verdes FC, said that he was very pleased with the overall performance of the team, although they could not get a goal.
Walter Salazar: Today Verdes was not the team from Cayo, or from Benque, today he was representative of Belize. The people responded very well. I think that those last 15 minutes where my team was lacking, I felt that the public revived them and we finished with a favorable result against a great team, against very professional, like it is in Mexico. Queretaro has made history in their country. It is there that the public played a key role and thanks to their support we achieved the objective of today.
We spoke to players on both sides of the pitch who gave us their reactions to the game.
Edgar Hernandez: We knew it was a team that would not stop running that would not stop fighting, I knew that is was important to them to play this tournament as it is for us. We knew it was not going to be easy. Technically, they are not the best team, but on the pitch they don’t stop running and they don’t stop pushing.
Shamir Pacheco: The game plan was that we were trying to counter Queretaro. They were well positioned but we tried our best. We had quite some opportunities but neva score but it was a nice game.
Reporter: At some point we saw the team a bit tired. Why, why was it happening?
Shamir Pacheco: Well actually the first half we were penetrating a little bit more. In the second half I think those guys were pressuring us more, they were trying to go on the wings, and you know when a team is pressuring you it’s kind of difficult, worse a professional team like Queretaro.
Benito Morreria: Of course the match favours us. We were considered that smallest team in the group. No one betted on us and now we have one point in favor and it should help us during the visiting match.
Queretaro remains at the head of group C with 4 points followed by Verdes FC with 1 point and San Francisco with 0 points. Verdes meets Panama’s San Francisco on August 26th to complete the first leg of the group round. Reporting for Plus News Emanuel Pech.
Goal Keeper Benito Morreira was named the player of the night.