San Ignacio gains first victory, drops BDF 2-nil at the Norman Broaster
There has perhaps never been more parity in the Premier League of Belize, as this Belikin Cup Opening Season tournament is shaping up to be the toughest ever race to the 4-team playoffs. After “resting” this past weekend, defending champion Police United FC is deceptively perched at last place in the standings; deceptively because they have a game or two “in hand” on different teams in the playoff race. (See standings below.) Only one point separates new league leader Paradise/Freedom Fighters from the next three teams – Verdes FC, Belize Defence Force FC (BDF) and Belmopan Bandits FC, with 10 points each, followed by FC Belize at 9 points. And with their big upset victory yesterday over BDF, even San Ignacio United FC still has a mathematical chance at making the playoffs. Only Police United is yet to secure a win in this season; and it will surely come.
On Saturday night at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo del Carmen, it was home standing Verdes FC dealing a 2-nil shutout to BDF, with goals from Orlando “Leechi” Jimenez (5’) and Julio Ayala (22’).
Yesterday, Sunday, it was the home team victorious again at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio, where San Ignacio United FC grabbed their first victory of the season as they dropped Belmopan Bandits, 2-0, with goals from Anthony Gonzalez (17’ PK) and Carlos Vasquez (46’).
Meanwhile, here at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, visiting Paradise/Freedom Fighters came away with a 1-1 draw against FC Belize. Mark “Kelo” Leslie put FC Belize in front a couple minutes before the end of first half; and leading goal scorer Franz Vernon equalized for Freedom Fighters at about the 30th minute of 2nd half.
The tournament schedule will now feature a return to the back matches postponed due to the weather in Week 5 and Week 7. Week 5 games will be on this coming weekend, and next week the Week 7 games will be played, after which the sequence of games will continue where they left off on the original schedule.
With three exciting match-ups on for this weekend, it is hard to select a “game of the week.” But, the Freedom Fighters are playing so splendidly, and star studded Police United are so desperate for their first win, this perhaps would “take the cake.” San Ignacio United is riding high, and will be out gain some traction in the standings race. While the FC Belize vs Verdes collision at the MCC features the long anticipated return of Norman “Tilliman” Nunez against his former squad from the City.
Upcoming Week 10 schedule:
Sunday, December 1
3:30 p.m. – Paradise/Freedom Fighters vs Police United FC – Toledo Union Field
3:30 p.m. – San Ignacio United FC vs Belize Defence Force FC – Norman Broaster Stadium
4:00 p.m. – FC Belize vs Verdes FC – MCC Grounds