BELIZE CITY, Mon. Oct. 31, 2016–The standings remained the same at the end of Week 12 in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2016-2017, but there was one noteworthy change in the “W” column, where there are no longer any zeroes.
It’s been a struggle for the new Orange Walk franchise in their first PLB season, but they have been getting better with each game; and on Saturday night at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk, they registered their first win, defeating the visiting Wagiya FC, 4-3, with goals from Oscar Acevedo (2’), Joao Silva (47’) and Marlom Garcia (84’ & 88’). Wagiya goals came from Harrison Tasher (23’ PK), Hector Gomez (45+’) and Evan Mariano (53’). Meanwhile, out west at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium, defending champions Belmopan Bandits SC cruised to an easy 4-0 victory over Placencia Assassins FC, courtesy of goals by Jeromy “Jarro” James (15’), Jairo Roches (32’), Jordi Polanco (38’) and Aloisio Teixeira (71’).
On Sunday, a penalty each in second half resulted in a 1-1 stalemate at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, where FC Belize hosted Verdes FC. It was FC Belize’s return to action after forfeiting their last match to Belmopan Bandits, the only loss on their (FC Belize) record so far. It was a very physical game that saw referee Nelson Jones struggling to maintain control.
After a scoreless first half, FC Belize was awarded a penalty when their Mexican striker Hector Martinez was taken down inside the eighteen, but he wasn’t allowed to take the kick, since he was forced to leave the field due to injury. The task fell to his Mexican teammate, Jordi Lopez, who calmly beat Verdes’ Elroy “Zabble” Rowley with a low grounder to the left corner at the 77th minute. A not completely healthy Deon McCaulay had entered the game ten minutes into second half for Verdes, and he created what looked to be a great opportunity, after navigating to the right goal line and sending a ground pass to Jarret Davis in front of goal; but Jarret’s left foot slap went high over the goal, a clear testament to the terribly uneven pitch, though many fans were unforgiving. But Jarret got his chance to redeem himself shortly after, when a penalty was awarded to Verdes, and Jarret beat Mexican goalie Rodrigo Vasquez for the equalizer at the 88th minute.
Also on Sunday, it was visiting Police United FC coming away with the 6-3 win over Toledo’s Freedom Fighters FC at the Victor Sanchez Union Field. Carlton “Fubu” Thomas had a hat trick (94’, 11’ & 40’) along with 1 apiece from John King (56’), Amin “Tacos” August (59’) and Harrison “Cafu” Roches (90’) for Police United; while Freedom Fighters got 2 goals from Jarren Lambey (57’ & 78’) and 1 from Richard Arnold (73’).
The race to the Top-4 playoffs is heating up. Below are the standings and goal scoring leaders lists, as provided by the PLB secretariat.
Upcoming Week 13 games:
Saturday, November 5
4:00 p.m. – BDF FC vs Verdes FC – MCC Grounds
Sunday, November 6
4:00 p.m. – FC Belize vs Placencia Assassins FC – MCC Grounds
3:30 p.m. – Freedom Fighters FC vs Orange Walk FC – Victor Sanchez Union Field
3:30 p.m. – Police United FC vs Wagiya FC – Norman Broaster Stadium
(Belmopan Bandits SC resting)