Sports — 01 November 2017
P.G. upsets Placencia; 5 PLB teams battling for 2 playoff spots

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Oct. 30, 2017– After an eventful weekend of games, the playoff race is narrowing down in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2017-2018 regular season, as Placencia Assassins suffered a major setback by Punta Gorda’s Freedom Fighters, and five teams are now in contention for two remaining playoff berths, Belmopan Bandits SC and Verdes FC being the only two teams already in the Top-4 playoffs.

After falling 2-nil to Verdes the week before, BDF drew, 1-1, with Police United on Saturday night at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. Camilo Sanchez (41’) put Police in front, and Vallan Symms (46’) equalized for BDF. With 1 point each from the draw, neither Police United nor BDF FC is sure of post-season action, as they are left to scramble for the two remaining playoff spots with three other teams – San Pedro Pirates, Placencia Assassins and Wagiya. (See standings below.)

In the first of three Sunday games, home standing San Pedro Pirates cruised to a 5-0 win over Wagiya FC, with goals coming from Hector Martinez (22’ & 76’), Louis Valdez (29’), Alois Teixeira (86’) and Inri Gonzaga (84’).  The win has put San Pedro in close contention for one of the remaining playoff spots, as they are now tied with BDF at 17 pts. In the most anticipated confrontation of the weekend, Verdes FC had to come from behind with a penalty conversion from Alcides Thomas (75’ PK) to pull out a 1-1 draw against visiting Belmopan Bandits at the Norman Broaster Stadium, after Bandits captain Elroy Smith (49’) had put the visitors in front. Both Bandits and Verdes are already in the playoffs. And at the Victor Sanchez Union Field in Punta Gorda, in a hotly contested affair that reportedly saw 3 red cards issued, home squad Freedom Fighters FC ended their 10-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over Placencia Assassins FC, who saw their playoff hopes getting more difficult. Zidane Hines struck twice (7’ PK & 87’), and Deandre Gonzalez (27’) got the other goal for the Freedom Fighters, who recorded their second victory of the season. Though they have no hopes of making the playoffs, the Freedom Fighters have scored more goals this season than Placencia Assassins and BDF FC, and have served notice that they will be no easy pushovers in their 2 remaining games.

With the playoff race as well as the goal-scoring race being so close going “down the stretch,” we have decided to print the schedule for both remaining regular season Weeks #13 and #14. Of course, except for the backmatch, the dates and times are taken from the original pre-season schedule, and are subject to change by the PLB.

Week 11 back match:
Wednesday, November 1
7:30 p.m. – Placencia Assassins FC vs Wagiya FC  –  M.A. Stadium

Week 13 schedule:
Saturday, November 4
7:30 p.m. – Belmopan Bandits SC vs Freedom Fighters FC  –  Isidoro Beaton Stadium
7:30 p.m. – Placencia Assassins FC vs Verdes FC  –  M.A. Stadium
Sunday, November 5
4:00 p.m. – Wagiya FC vs BDF FC  –  Carl Ramos Stadium
5:00 p.m. – Police United FC vs San Pedro Pirates FC  –  Isidoro Beaton Stadium

Week 14 schedule:
Saturday, November 11
7:30 p.m. – Belmopan Bandits SC vs Wagiya FC  –  Isidoro Beaton Stadium
3:00 p.m. – San Pedro Pirates FC vs Verdes FC  –  Ambergris Stadium
4:00 p.m. – Placencia Assassins FC vs Police United FC  –  M.A. Stadium
4:00 p.m. – BDF FC vs Freedom Fighters FC  –  MCC Grounds

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Deshawn Swasey

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