BELMOPAN, Mon. July, 17, 2017–It was another weekend filled with excitement and memorable comebacks, as the Belmopan Football Association (BFA) completed its 2017 First Division Closing Tournament best-of-2 games semifinals series on Sunday at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. Both eventual finalists, Madrid FC and AC Milan, had to battle from behind, to the surprise and entertainment of a crowded Isidoro Beaton Stadium on Sunday. Both games did not disappoint, with AC Milan and Winz FC wrapping up the evening in extra time, after their two-game series ended 5-5 in regulation time.
As reported earlier, the only semifinal game 1 played last Wednesday, July 12, ended in a 2-2 stalemate between AC Milan and Wingz FC. Marcos Lino (40’) and Johnny Cardenas (57’) rocked the net for AC Milan, while Stuart Jenkins (44’) and Joshua Burns (60’) hit the target for Wingz FC.
The other semifinal game 1 took place on Thursday, July 13, and saw Cavetubing.Bz Strikers with the 3-2 win over Madrid FC. Cavetubing got 2 goals from Camilo Sanchez and the other from Rady Ramirez; while Madrid FC got a goal each from Walter Moran and Angel Xis.
Both decisive semifinals game 2 were played on Sunday. In the opener, Cavetubing.Bz Strikers struck first through Marlon Miranda (24’), thus increasing their aggregate lead to 4-2 (having won game 1 by a 3-2 margin); but Madrid FC came roaring back before first half ended with 3 goals, 1 each from Enrique Gonzalez (32’), Angel Xis (36’) and Emilton Bejerano (38’), to take a 5-4 aggregate lead, which they maintained until the long whistle.
In the nightcap, AC Milan and Wingz FC entered their semifinal game 2 with a “clean sheet,” having drawn 2-2 in game 1; and it was high drama all the way. Wingz FC jumped to a 2-nil first half lead on goals by Justin Wade (7’) and Ryan Saravia (39’); but AC Milan pulled even by mid-way of second half with strikes from Melvin Barientos (70’) and Marcos Lino (75’). At the 83rd minute, Brandon Peyrefitte converted a penalty to give Wingz the lead again; but once more, with time winding down, AC Milan got the equalizer, from Johnny Cardenas at the 89th minute. Deadlocked at 5-5 aggregate, the game was in injury time when Myvette Paguada (91’) rocked the net, to give AC Milan the 6-5 aggregate victory and a spot in the finals.
AC Milan proceeds to the Finals for the second consecutive time, having reached the finals against Juventus FC in the Opening Tournament, and losing the championship 4-1 on aggregate. Will they be able to redeem themselves this time around, or will it be the bridesmaid spot for them once again? Madrid FC, for their part, will be seeking revenge against AC Milan, who eliminated them in the quarterfinals of the Opening Tournament last time around by way of penalty kicks.
We invite you to the Isidoro Beaton Stadium this Sunday at 4:00 p.m. for game 1 of the best-of-2 games Finals. It promises to be sizzling hot, with the loudest fan group in the country, “La Porra Brava” cheering on their team, Madrid FC, whilst entertaining and bringing the stadium alive with their chants.
Sunday, July 23
4:00 p.m. – (championship game 1) AC Milan vs Madrid FC
Sunday, July 30
2:00 p.m. – (3rd place match) Wingz FC vs Cavetubing.Bz Strikers
4:00 p.m. – (championship game 2) Madrid FC vs AC Milan