Sports — 19 May 2018
Old capital vs new – BDF defenders vs the Bandits from Belmopan in PLB Closing Season Finals

BDF prevails 2-0 aggregate vs Verdes in PLB semifinals after 0-0 draw last night in San Ignacio

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. May 17, 2018– The nil-nil draw between Verdes FC and BDF FC last night at the Norman Broaster Stadium, means that BDF FC has prevailed in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2017-2018 Closing Season home-and-away semifinal series by an aggregate 2-0 score, after posting a 2-nil victory in game 1 back on April 22 at the MCC.  Last night’s game was a re-play of the semifinals game 2, which was originally played at the same venue on April 29.  Verdes had won that game, 3-0, enough to secure a 3-2 aggregate victory and a spot in the Finals against Belmopan Bandits SC; but BDF had protested the game, because the referee failed to allow a re-take of a scored BDF penalty kick (by Trimayne Harris) when an infringement by the kicker’s teammate had occurred.  Initially, the protest had been rejected on Thursday evening, May 3, but BDF appealed; and, even while the PLB had gone ahead with its Finals Game 1 between Verdes and Bandits on May 5 (which ended 1-1), the FFB Appeals Board on Thursday evening, May 10, overturned the PLB Disciplinary Committee ruling, and ordered a re-play of the BDF vs Verdes semifinal game 2, making their previous encounter, as well as the Verdes vs Bandits finals game 1, all “null and void.”

Despite all the ups and downs in this scenario, the overwhelming consensus of fans we spoke to, has been that the re-play was the best thing for the integrity of the sport.  It was a steep hill for Verdes FC to climb, but so it was from after their 2-nil loss in the semifinals game 1; and the turnout of their semifinals game 2 match on April 29 was undoubtedly affected by the Law 14 violation, for which both the referee and linesman involved have been suspended.

The game last night was not pretty, but it was intense from “whistle to whistle,” with Verdes dominating play, and BDF remaining resilient and offering enough of an offensive threat with Jaren Lambey and Trimayne Harris spearheading the attack to keep the Verdes defense “honest.”  Jarret Davis had a couple fine headers, Alcides “Paco” Thomas also had a couple near misses, and ball-wizard Gilroy “Bredda” Thurton also had his moments of brilliance, but the finishing was lacking in face of a stalwart BDF defense, led by captain, Ricky Rickets, some very good goalkeeping from Glenford Chimilio, and a little bit of luck also.  The TNC 10 post-game statistics confirmed the Verdes dominance in attack:  they took 21 shots to BDF’s 8; 21 free kicks to BDF’s 11; 11 corners to BDF’s 4; and completed 357 passes to BDF’s 255.  But, the name of the game is “goal;” and at the end of ninety, it was still 0-0, and an aggregate 2-0 victory in the series for BDF FC.

It was undoubtedly a huge disappointment to the many ardent Verdes fans, who saw their team gallantly defend its turf with honor, not losing a match at the Norman Broaster over the past month of action against the two now PLB finalists, Belmopan Bandits SC and BDF FC.

And so, when it seemed all was lost for our soldiers, with their original flag-man, “Cooklan” keeping the faith and fighting their case on social and other media, the tide has turned in their favor, and also that of Belize City fans, now blessed with the spectacle of another PLB Finals clash at the MCC.

PLB 2017-18 Closing Season Finals schedule:

Saturday, May 19
4:00 p.m. – BDF FC vs Belmopan Bandits SC – MCC Grounds

Monday, May 21
8:00 p.m. – Belmopan Bandits SC vs BDF FC – Isidoro Beaton Stadium

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Deshawn Swasey

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