BELIZE CITY, Mon. Mar. 14, 2016–Only two weeks of regular season games, along with a couple back matches remain before the start of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Closing Season 2015-2016 playoffs. And, with cellar dwellers Wagiya and Verdes FC both losing over the weekend, the playoff picture is almost set, with the other 4 teams expected to pair off in the semifinals.
At the FFB Stadium on Saturday night, March 12, Belmopan Bandits maintained their lead in the standings, as they dropped Wagiya, 3-0, with goals from Eugene Martinez (34’), Jordy Polanco (61’) and Rai West (69’). Also on Saturday night, the surging Belize Defence Force FC travelled to the Michael Ashcroft Stadium and did what no other team has done this season, beat the Placencia Assassins on their home turf. Fresh off their 1-0 shocker over Belmopan Bandits the week before, BDF came out of Independence celebrating a 3-1 victory over the Assassins, courtesy of goals from Harrison Tasher (32’), Osmar Duran (40’) and Paul Nunez (81’). The sole tally for Placencia was by Mario Villanueva (61’).
On Sunday, the playoff hopes were further dimmed for Verdes FC, as visiting Police United left Norman Broaster Stadium with a 2-nil victory and a secure spot in the playoffs. Shaking the net for Police United were captain Andres Makin, Jr. (4’) and Carlton “Fubu” Thomas (18’).
Only a miracle – like 3 straight victories could give either Verdes FC or Wagiya FC a chance at making the playoffs. (See standings below.)
Another race being closely watched, is that for overall points in the two seasons, Opening and Closing combined. Should Police United come out on top, they would automatically secure a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament. If another team ends up with most combined points at the end of the Closing Season, that team could take the Champions League spot away from Police if they dethrone them for the Closing Season championship. (See the latest combined points standings below.)
Upcoming Week 9 games:
Saturday, March 19
7:30 p.m. – Placencia Assassins FC vs Police United FC – Michael Ashcroft Stadium
Sunday, March 20
3:30 p.m. – BDF FC vs Wagiya FC – MCC Grounds
4:00 p.m. – Verdes FC vs Belmopan Bandits FC – Norman Broaster Stadium