ONE DOWN…831 to go. Belize 5, Monserrat 2 (att 150) was never going to knock Alex McLeish or Luka Modric off the back pages but the game was significant as it was the first 2014 World Cup qualifier.
The road to Brazil started at the Ato Bolden stadium in Trinidad because there is no suitable venue in Monserrat, an island near Antigua which was almost destroyed by the 1995 reawakening of La Soufrière volcano. Deon McCauley claimed a small slice of history with the first hat-trick of the 2014 campaign.
Monserrat coach Kenny Dyer, who had a spell with Dagenham and Redbridge in the mid-90’s, remains confident ahead of the second leg in Belmopan on Sunday.
However, the smart money would be on Belize (formerly known as British Honduras) to finish off the job. Monserrat have only ever won two games since their first international in 1991 and in 2002 they earned the ignominious and unofficial distinction of being the worst team in the world when they were beaten by the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan to go bottom of the FIFA rankings.
*For the serious anoraks, Bhutan, Guam, Mauritania and Brunei Darrussalam of what Sepp Blatter likes to call ‘the FIFA family’ have not registered for the competition.