Even the t-shirt says it all! GO BELIZE!While they grill, Belize is on the mind!
Cholo's was PACKED!! Xcalac (Mexico) visitors were welcome as everyone cheered on their favorite team.No one thought Belize would make it past the first round. In the first round, St. Kitts guaranteed a stunning victory against Belize, the small country that doesn't even have a properly regulated playing field. For our home games, Belize has had to travel to Guatemala and yesterday, to Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.
But, the Little Engine that could has proven to be full of heart and Belizean pride. Belize proved themselves and St. Kitts was eliminated from the first round, despite their guaranteed victory.
Belize went on to face Mexico, the 14th ranked team in the world while Belize comes in at 172nd, right before the Phillipines and after the British Virgin Islands. So, for the many football fans in San Pedro and throughout the country, yesterday's game meant more than any other game played before. For the first time, Belize has made it past the pesky first round, and faces a worthy opponent.
That opponent, Mexico, had many fanatics guaranteeing up to 8 goals in the first half. Belize was described as a poor nation, lacking resources to pony up top quality players.
At half time on Sunday, June 15th, 2008, those same broadcasters and naysayers were eating their words, saying that their predictions were sorely off mark. The score? 0-0.
Belize had proven itself they said. Mexico's biggest rival was Mexico. Despite the obvious half court game, where Belize spent most of their time defending their goal post, Mexico was unable to kick in the 8 goals in the first half. And they never kicked 8 goals. Instead, a truly unlucky tip from the goalkeeper Orio garnered the first goal. A penalty kick resulted in the second goal to finish the first game of Belize vs. Mexico at a 2-0 victory for Mexico.
For Belizeans however, it was a victory m- a victory over the naysayers, who, not knowing what Belizean players are capable of, spoke too much too soon.
There is one more game left, and the general sentiment is that even if Belize is eliminated in the second round by Mexico, Belize is still a winner! They will have proven a point: that even if the opponent is the almighty Mexico, that opponent still had to work for their victory.
And Belize is gracious enough to cheer on Mexico further into the future. Because that is just how Belizeans are!
Go Team Belize!!