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Premier League playoff race hot, hot, hot

SportsPremier League playoff race hot, hot, hot

BDF drop Police; F.C. Belize burn Placencia

There has probably never been a race as hot as this one in the history of semipro football in Belize. With four weeks of out-of-zone meetings completed, and 5 games each remaining in the second round, each zone, North and South, have 3 teams jostling at the top, with 2 more still in striking distance. Only 2 teams from each zone will make it to the 4-team semifinal playoffs. (See standings below.)

The only Saturday night game this past weekend saw R.G. City Boys United visit the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan and hold North Zone leaders Belmopan Bandits to a scoreless draw.

The much anticipated battle of the security forces was at the Norman Broaster Stadium on Sunday, and it was Belize Defense Force defending their home turf with a 3-1 victory, and putting an end to the Police United winning streak. BDF had goals from Ralph Flores (33 min), Vallan Symms (48 min PK) and Richard “Cheety” Jimenez (82 min); while Danny Jimenez (45+ min) got the only Police goal.

The San Pedro Seadogs celebrated their first home game at the Ambergris Stadium by registering a 1-0 win over San Ignacio United. Angel Cantun (41 min) scored for San Pedro.
Both are practically out of the playoff race, but will be playing for pride down the stretch.

Meanwhile, at the San Felipe Field in Orange Walk, home standing FC San Felipe Barcelona took a 3-1 lead into the intermission, but couldn’t hold off a second-half surge from visiting Paradise/Freedom Fighters who scored 3 more, including 2 from the penalty spot, to grab the 4-3 win. Freedom Fighters got 1 goal from Vicente Acal (29 min) and 3 from Leonard Valdez (60 min, 66 min PK, & 78 min PK). San Felipe’s goals were by Clifton West (5 & 33 min) and Orvin Wade (18 min).

The other Orange Walk home team was also on the losing end, as Juventus fell, 4-1, at the Louisiana Football Field to visiting Verdes FC. Miguel Aguilar (15 & 80 min), Rodney Torres (41 min PK) and Julio Ayala (72 min) shook the net for Verdes; while Michael Whittaker (50 min) got the consolation goal for Juventus.

Here at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, South Zone leaders and defending champions Placencia Assassins were shocked, 1-0, by the young F.C. Belize team. The only goal of the game came when F.C. Belize left midfielder David Ramos got away briefly from Placencia’s Brent Whyte and drove to the left goal line, sending a cross goal overhead lob searching for advancing rookie striker John King on the right side. The energetic King, who has a flair for the spectacular and is willing to take chances, met the ball with a left-foot volley from just inside the eighteen that saw the net tighten before defenders could reach him or Placencia goalie Elias Pelayo could adjust his position. The goal came at the 32nd minute of 1st half, and F.C. Belize goalkeeper Glenford Chimilio made a number of fine saves from shots by Placencia strikers Rollin Burgess and Ashley Torres, to preserve the 1-nil lead and secure an important victory to keep F.C. Belize in the hunt for a playoff spot.

The game started at 5:00 p.m., and in 2nd half, the dim lights at the MCC may have contributed to problems for referee Luis Lucas in controlling the match, resulting in 4 yellow cards and 5 red card ejections. One of those ejections was F.C. Belize captain All-Belize Christopher Gilharry who will be sorely missed in their next match against North Zone leaders Belmopan Bandits.

Week 10 schedule:

Saturday, November 3
7:30 p.m. – (S) Police United FC vs Placencia Assassins – Isidoro Beaton Stadium
7:30 p.m. – (S) Verdes FC vs San Ignacio United – Marshalleck Stadium
7:30 p.m. – (S) Paradise/Freedom Fighters vs R.G. City Boys United – Michael Ashcroft Stadium

Sunday, November 4
4:00 p.m. – (N) F.C. Belize vs Belmopan Bandits – MCC Grounds
2:30 p.m. – (N) San Pedro Seadogs vs FC San Felipe Barcelona – Ambergris Stadium
4:00 p.m. – (N) Juventus FC vs Belize Defense Force – Louisiana Football Field

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