BELIZE CITY, Mon. June 12, 2017–In the National Amateur Women League (NAWL) championship Game 2, which kicked off at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 10, at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan, home standing Jewel Fury FC and visiting Belize City FC played to 1-1 draw after 90 minutes of exciting football action. (The two teams had drawn, 0-0, a week earlier in Game 1 of the finals at the MCC Grounds.)
After a scoreless first half, #17 Kimberley Perez put Jewel Fury in front with a beautiful header from a free kick at the 71st minute, and, with time winding down, and the speedy Fury defenders keeping the Belize City visitors at bay, it looked like the Jewel would take the crown; but the picture changed suddenly and dramatically, when Belize City FC’s central defensive stopper, #7 Kursha Pollard unleashed a long and powerful shot from 35 yards out at the 86th minute, and it dived just underneath the cross bar, above the outstretched fingertips of Fury goalkeeper Idania Ramirez, who was somewhat hobbled by a leg injury earlier in the game. (Game 1 was drawn 0-0 a week earlier at the MCC Grounds.)
The goal sent Belize City FC fans into a frenzy of jubilation, as the 1-1 draw would give the advantage to the visitors; and so it did. At the long whistle by referee Rogelio Bennett, Belize City FC was declared the champion; and Jewel Fury FC, who had not lost a single game in the tournament, had to settle for sub-champion status.
In its release today, the tournament’s organizing committee (OC), headed by Mrs. Jacqueline Pelayo, stated:
The Championship series ended in a draw in aggregate goals. Therefore, Art. 6 in the NAWL Regulation, the away goal rule applied.
MVP – Playoff Kursha Pollard
The National Amateur Women League (NAWL) congratulates Belize City FC as the first Champion of the League. Congratulations to the Sub-Champion, Jewel Fury FC.
Belize City FC will be representing Belize in the Campeonato Interclubes Femenino, which will be held in Nicaragua in the month of July.“The NAWL OC thanks all the teams that participated in the tournament: Calcutta Strikers, Gladiators FC, Belize City FC, Jewel Fury FC, Gentle Touch, Griga Smart Pumas, Sagitun Strikers and Toledo Strikers.
In the award ceremony following the game, FFB Acting President Marlon Kuylen was on hand to issue team trophies, as well as individual award trophies for the regular season as follows:
Best Young Player:
Best Attacking Player:
MVP Playoff & Championship Series:
Iris Centeno (Jewel Fury FC)
Jayda Brown (Jewel Fury FC); Nykemah Kuylen (Griga Smart Pumas)
Jasmine Armstrong (Jewel Fury FC)
Sarah Arzu (Belize City FC)
Karen Garcia (Gladiators FC); Jinnelle Pott (Belize City FC)
Kaite Jones (Gladiators FC)
Carlos Slusher (Jewel Fury FC)
Miguel Gongora (Jewel Fury FC)
Jayda Brown (Jewel Fury FC)
Kursha Pollard (Belize City FC)
(Sports Ed. Note: In somewhat of a mix-up on the Press Cadogan Sports Show yesterday, we mentioned that the team representing Belize in Nicaragua would be a national selection taken from the teams participating in the NAWL. We were mistaken; our apologies. As stated above, it is an international club competition, and our champion club, Belize City FC will be representing “the Jewel.”)