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Rafael Diaz Impresses on Debut with Dominican Republic

By Eira Castillo, 01/25/21, 4:45PM PST

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Diaz posts a shutout to help the Dominican NT earn a draw against Serbia.

Goalkeeper Rafael Diaz made his debut with the Dominican Republic National Team in Santo Domingo on Monday, posting a strong performance to shutout Serbia and secure a draw for the home side.


Photo: Selección Dominicana de Futbol

Early on in the 7th minute, Dominicana had a fantastic opportunity in front of a goal, but the chip over the Serbian goalkeeper went just wide. Three minutes later, Serbia hit the back of the net only to have their goal called back after it was deemed offside. Serbia controlled much of the rest of the match, but could not break down the Dominican defense to open the scoreline.

In the 20th minute, Diaz made a fantastic save to deny Serbia. Diaz was up to task again in the 48th minute, plucking a free kick from the visitors out of the air and out of danger for his side. Serbia nearly had their goal in the 78th minute, but Diaz kept his shutout with a save in the 12-yard-box, throwing his body on the ball and denying Aleksic a shot on goal.

"I’m very happy and proud to be able to represent the country I was born in and happy to be able to help the team to get a good result against a very strong Serbia team," said Diaz. 

Diaz’s impressive performance all 90 minutes garnered positive feedback on the social feeds, plus Man of the Match honors. 

After falling to Puerto Rico in their last match, the result against the FIFA ranked #30 Serbia ends the #159 ranked Dominican Republic’s training camp on a positive note ahead of World Cup qualifiers, which kick off in March.

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