Fall, 3-1, to powerful BDF
BELIZE CITY, Mon. Feb. 20, 2017–It was another weekend of football in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2016-2017 Closing Season regular season; and the MCC Garden, where Punta Gorda’s Freedom Fighters visited for the second Sunday in a row, had its fair share of excitement for football fans.
Minus veteran star midfielder Lisbey Castillo, now focusing on basketball with the Dangriga Dream Ballers, Freedom Fighters manager, Patrick Flores has still managed to put together a splendid cast of young talent along with able veterans, Onest Martinez in defence and Franklin Polonio in goal. Most notable of the young guns on Freedom Fighters is their burly and fearless 18-year-old striker, Jarren Lambey, who was instrumental in their 2-1 win over FC Belize last Sunday. Yesterday against BDF, Jarren proved he is also a finisher, when he pounced on a small window of opportunity in close contact with outstanding BDF goalie, Tevin Gamboa, and headed in the only P.G. goal of the game, that brought the score to a worrying 2-1 margin for BDF, who were riding high on a first half 2-nil lead.
BDF got on the scorecard early, after Brian Martinez’s cross-goal ground pass from the left goal line found teammate Trimayne Harris open on the right side, and he easily beat P.G. goalie Franklin Polonio from close range at the 9th minute for the 1-nil lead. It was a well contested match, but BDF jumped to a commanding 2-nil lead at the 37th minute, when a P.G. defensive clearance was blocked and the ball soared high, coming down just outside the arc at edge of the 18-yard penalty area, and BDF midfielder Jeremy Gentle, who is never shy in attack, unleashed a right foot volley that zoomed into the right corner past a diving Polonio.
BDF was also missing a couple of their regular starters – midfielders Osmar Duran and Raymond Ramos, who reportedly travelled with the Belize Futsal team to the Bahamas.
The tide seemed to be shifting in favor of the visitors in second half, and their relentless pressure paid off at the 75th minute, when P.G. midfielder #5 Devin Burgess navigated around the BDF defense along the left goal line, and sent a dangerous grounder across goal, where BDF goalie Tevin Gamboa first rejected a right-away slap-in, but the ball bounced loose in a cloud of dust, and P.G.’s Jarren Lambey struck fiercely with a header from point-blank range; and it was a brand new 2-1 ball game. The game was good again for the fans, as the Freedom Fighters were in a threatening position to pull out a draw in the remaining 15 minutes of regulation.
But, big players play-big in “money time;” and young BDF striker Trimayne Harris rose to the occasion. Employing great speed and guile on the left wing, he first managed to elude the P.G. right defense and streaked toward goal along the left goal line; but an alert Franklin Polonio, in goal for Freedom Fighters, came out in time to narrow the angle and block his shot from close range. Undaunted, Harris repeated the effort a few minutes later at the 86th minute; but this time, he found Shane “Chucky” Flores (who had replaced Brian Martinez 15 minutes into second half) with a cross-goal ground pass that gave Chucky few options, but control the ball and drive it past the helpless keeper from 8-yards distance; which he did, for the comfortable 3-1 lead, and that’s how it ended.
In other weekend results, on Saturday the Bandits dropped Verdes, 2-0, at the Isidoro Beaton with goals from Jairo Roches (21′) and Aloisio Teixeira (49′); the Assassins also clipped FC Belize, 2-0, in Independence with goals from Ashton Torres (58′) and Delone Torres (68′); and also on Sunday, it was Police United, 2-1, over Wagiya. Danny Jimenez (48′ & 55′) struck twice for Police, while Latrell Middleton (45′) got the lone goal for Wagiya.
The exciting Freedom Fighters will be at home this coming weekend, and our own FC Belize will return to the MCC to host still undefeated Police United, under new head coach Aaron “Gambis” Gamboa.
Upcoming Week 5 schedule:
Sunday, February 26
4:00 p.m. – Wagiya FC vs Placencia Assassins FC – Carl Ramos Stadium
4:00 p.m. – FC Belize vs Police United FC – MCC Grounds
4:00 p.m. – Verdes FC vs BDF FC – Norman Broaster Stadium
4:00 p.m. – Freedom Fighters FC vs Belmopan Bandits SC – Victor Sanchez Union Field