Sports — 23 February 2016

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Feb. 22, 2016–It was a weekend of surprises in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2015-2016 Closing Season Week 5. On Saturday night at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence, Placencia Assassins held the visiting Belmopan Bandits to a 0-0 draw. The Bandits, with Shane Orio in goal, was the favorite in this one, but Placencia is always tough to beat at home. The really big surprises came on Sunday.

Yesterday, at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, visiting Police United got an early advantage, when outstanding BDF defender Orland Trapp was red carded at the 5th minute by referee Christopher Reid, after Trapp elbowed Police’s Guatemalan striker Elio Ramirez. A disappointed Trapp admitted his error, but explained after the game that he had retaliated due to Elio’s previous similar action against him. Police proceeded to take the 1-nil lead at the 35th minute when Devon Makin eluded two defenders in a dusty scramble in front of the southern goal after a pass from Ramirez and pushed it past Tevin Gamboa in goal for BDF.

After entering the game 10 minutes into second half, Lennox “Criminal” Castillo made a fine move toward the right goal line and sent a perfect cross goal pass for Harrison “Cafu” Roches to tap in their second goal; 2-nil, Police, at the 62nd minute. It seemed to be all over for the 10-man BDF squad, but the army was undaunted. With all substitutions on both sides used up, BDF mounted a comeback, when their superb defender Ricky Ricketts was taken down by Police captain Andres Makin, Jr. near the Police eighteen. And the resulting free kick saw BDF’s multi-talented Leon “Chow” Cadle coming from defence to join the attack, and he connected from off the centering pass to cut the lead to 2-1 at the 80th minute. The “insurance” goal wouldn’t come for a flustered Police squad, as excited home fans saw an energized BDF putting everything into attack; and it was the elusive and explosive Harrison Tasher gaining the equalizer after slicing through the Police defence, after a feed from Paul Nunez in midfield, and beating Police’s Keith Allen in goal; 2-2 ball game at the 86th minute. And it stayed that way.

Early on, fans were lamenting the ejection of Trapp so early, feeling it had spoiled what promised to be an exciting confrontation. But it turned out to be one heck of a ball game still; and fans will have good reason to come out next Sunday to see BDF defend the home turf again.

But the biggest surprise of the day came from out west, where the report was that visiting Wagiya had registered their first win of the season, a shocking 1-nil victory over home standing Verdes FC at the Norman Broaster Stadium on a first half goal by Jose Martinez.

Week 6 games:
Saturday, February 27
7:30 p.m. – Placencia Assassins FC vs Wagiya FC – Michael Ashcroft Stadium

Sunday, February 28
3:30 p.m. – BDF FC vs Verdes FC – MCC Grounds
4:00 p.m. – Police United FC vs Belmopan Bandits FC – Norman Broaster Stadium


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