BELIZE CITY, Wed. Dec. 19, 2018– Based on information gleaned from reporter William Ysaguirre’s report (endorsed by CYDP officials) on the 2nd leg of the CYDP Peace Cup 2018 quarterfinals on Saturday, December 15, at the MCC Grounds, the tournament has now reached its semifinals stage, with the surviving four teams scheduled to take the field this coming Saturday in the 1st leg of the semifinals. Those 4 quarterfinal winners are Barrack Road FC, Caesar Ridge FC, Lucky Strike FC, and Ladyville FC.
The CYDP (Conscious Youth Development Program) Peace Cup has been sanctioned by the Belize District Football Association (BDFA) as its 1st Division Amateur Tournament for a couple years now.
Barrack Road vs Lake-I
In the opener on Saturday, Lake-I FC clipped Barrack Road FC, 1-nil, on a late first-half strike by Delroy Flores; but it wasn’t enough to secure the quarterfinal series win. Barrack Road FC had taken their 1st leg encounter by a 3-1 score, so they prevailed by the aggregate score of 3-2, and will go on to the semifinals.
Caesar Ridge vs City Boys
The much anticipated clash between these two south-side teams lived up to its billing, as it ended deadlocked in regulation, and had to be decided in overtime. After drawing 1-1 in the 1st leg, Caesar Ridge FC and City Boys FC were tied at 3-3 after ninety minutes of football which resulted in a 4-4 aggregate tie and the need for overtime to decide which team would go on to the semifinal. Jose Martinez struck twice for Caesar Ridge, before Delroy “Tin Man” Andrews and Brian Martinez netted 1 apiece, to equalize the score at 2-2 some ten minutes before half-time. In second half, Keiron Patnett gave City Boys the 3-2 lead, but Sydney “Buck-it” Bradley equalized for Caesar Ridge before the long whistle. And in the overtime, it was Buck-it again, giving Caesar Ridge the go-ahead goal, with Deandre Pitter, a high school star missing from football for a while, who put the icing on the cake with the 5th goal for Caesar Ridge FC, who thus claimed the 5-3 victory and a spot in the semifinals in their very first season.
Coast Guard vs Lucky Strike
It was considered an upset of sorts, when Lucky Strike FC dropped previously undefeated Coast Guard FC by a 2-1 score in the 1st leg of the quarterfinals. In the 2nd leg match this past Saturday, Coast Guard seemed to be back in charge, as they sported a 3-1 lead nearing the end of regulation. Coast Guard had jumped to an early 2-nil lead through Jason Cuevas (3’) and Jamal Martinez (9’), before Lucky Strike’s Augustine Smith (34’) cut the lead to 2-1. Cuevas (57’) made it 3-1 for Coast Guard, which would be enough to secure the series aggregate win, 4-3; but in the waning minutes of regulation, Keenen Gillett (86’) rocked the net, giving new life to Lucky Strike, who held on to end regulation trailing Coast Guard, 3-2, and an aggregate tie, 4-4. Overtime!
Overtime was scoreless, so it was on to the penalty shootout, which went all the way to sudden death, before Lucky Strike prevailed. Converting for Coast Guard were Guillermo Ramirez, Trevin Salguero, Shemar Thompson and Jamel Jones; while Delwin Jones, Ernest Wiltshire, Fede Estiverne and Keenen Gillett also made good for Lucky Strike; with one kicker on each team missing. It was now 4-4 in the shootout, which went on to “sudden death.” After Coast Guard’s next kicker sent it over the cross bar, Lucky Strike’s Frederick “Shorty” Garbutt took his time to carefully tie his shoe laces, squatting beside the ball at the penalty spot, before getting up and calmly drilling a grounder to the left corner, with his teammates at midfield immediately erupting in jubilation and racing to raise him up to their shoulders in celebration. With the 5-4 shootout victory, Lucky Strike FC secured their spot in the Peace Cup semifinals.
FC Elite vs Ladyville FC
If the Lucky Strike FC victory over Coast Guard FC was an upset, what followed was even more surprising, as the former National 1st Division champions, FC Elite were convincingly defeated and demoralized by an apparently less talented but well organized Ladyville FC, whose chief strategist, coach Michael “Wataplat” Flowers built his game plan around his highly skilled center forward, Sean Young, who had scored both goals in their 2-2 draw in the 1st leg encounter. The odds on favorite, FC Elite jumped to an early 1-nil lead after their corner was headed out by a Ladyville defender, and FC Elite captain Leon “Lem” Jones (3’) met it at the edge of the eighteen and volleyed a hard grounder that found the back of the net at the 3rd minute of play. But the Ladyville squad was un-daunted by the setback, and 13 minutes later it was their center forward Sean Young drawing heavy marking from FC Elite defenders, and flicking a back-heel pass into space for an advancing Tyrone Parchue (16’) to drill home the equalizer past Alvin Mangandi in goal for FC Elite. And it was a well-placed corner from Sean Young that found the head of Trey Everett near the far post at the 31st minute, and Everett placed it over the head of the short Mangandi and into the right corner for the 2-1 lead. With 5 minutes of regulation remaining, Parchue was cut down in the FC Elite eighteen for a penalty; but an altercation erupted before the kick could make it 3-1, and the game was called, with Ladyville registering the 2-1 win and securing a spot in the semifinals on the 4-3 aggregate.
Semifinals best-of-two games
The best-of-two games semifinals kick off this Saturday at the MCC:
Saturday, December 22, 1st leg
10:00 a.m. – Lucky Strike FC vs Ladyville FC
12:00 noon – Caesar Ridge FC vs Barrack Road FC