(ABOVE) Action from the CONCACAF World Cup qualifier between host Nicaragua (blue jersey) and Anguilla on March 23, 2015, in Managua
MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Nicaragua began 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying Monday with its largest-ever win in a full international, defeating Anguilla 5-0 at the Estadio Nacional.
It was the Pinoleros’ first victory since prevailing over Puerto Rico 4-1 in a friendly on February 26, 2012, snapping a 10-game winless streak.
Despite the convincing triumph, head coach Henry Duarte is seeking improvement from his team ahead of Sunday’s second leg on the road at The Valley.
“We didn’t do all of the work that had to be done,” said the Costa Rican, who was appointed to the post in December. “It was necessary to do more. I did not like the second half. We have to prepare ourselves for more demanding national teams.”
Against Anguilla, the Nicaraguans struck for four first-half goals, but only one after the break. The offensive outburst, however, was impressive if just for the fact that it ended a run of five straight scoreless games.
“If this team continues working like this, it will give a lot of happiness in the future,” Duarte finished. “Nicaragua is prepared to play a two-legged series.”