Qualification history
Minnows of the Central American scene, Belize have made big strides of late. They reached the second preliminary round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ with an easy win in their series over St. Kitts and Nevis, and they repeated the feat ahead of Brazil 2014 by strolling past Caribbean upstarts Montserrat. Unfortunately the next stage spelled the end of the road for the side as they finished second behind Guatemala in the first group stage. This time out, in qualifying for Russia 2018, Belize almost had a shock at the start as they barely edged out the Cayman Islands on goal difference.

The team
Belize are led by their super-striker Deon McCaulay, the man who finished top-scorer in global qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil in 2014. He plays his club football in the USA’s second tier, NASL, for Atlanta Silverbacks and is renowned for his calm in front of goal. His absence was one of the main reasons the side struggled in the early stages against the Caymans, according to teammate Elroy Kuylen, who told FIFA.com: “With Deon up front we have no problems.”

The coach
Jorge Nunez was born in Brazil and played throughout Central America, including Belize. He’s an assistant coach at local club powers Belmopan Bandits and is considered one of the leading lights in Belize’s football from a tactical perspective, with a firm focus on attack.

The stat
11 -
the number of goals scored by Deon McCaulay in qualifying for Brazil 2014. He finished atop the scorer’s table above the likes of global superstars Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Robin van Persie.

The former stars
Dion Frazer