BELIZE CITY–It’s getting near to “crunch time” in the Premier League of Belize Opening Season 2014-2015 race to the playoffs, and at the end of Week 5, two teams are still undefeated – Placencia’s Texmar Assassins and pre-season favorite Police United FC. The Assassins, who are yet to concede a single goal after 4 games played, are at the top of the standings; while Police have drawn 3 times and are presently in sixth place.
In the only Saturday night game this past weekend, back-to-back champion Belmopan Bandits FC defended their home turf at Isidoro Beaton Stadium with a 3-2 win over previously undefeated Verdes FC. Bandits’ goals came from Elroy Kuylen (3’), goalkeeper Woodrow West (54’ PK) and Highking Roberts (79’); while Verdes got a goal from league leading “goleador” Jarret Davis (52’) along with the benefit of an own goal by Bandits defender Dalton Eiley (84’ OG).
On Sunday, November 16, the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk was the scene of another tough encounter, as home standing Belize Defence Force FC suffered their first defeat, 1-0, at the hands of still undefeated and now league leading Texmar Assassins FC of Placencia. After a scoreless first half, Luis “Baca” Torres got what proved the game winner for the Assassins at the 71st minute.
Also on Sunday, the visitors were again victorious at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio, where young newcomers Wagiya from Dangriga gained a convincing 4-2 victory over winless San Ignacio United. San Ignacio’s lone strike was by Cyrill Simmons (53’), but they also benefited from a Wagiya own goal by Marion Nicasio (46’ OG). The result was never in doubt, however, as goals came quickly for Wagiya, from Wendell Trapp (2’), Byrone Chavez (29’), Brandon Cacho (39’) and Abraham Chavez (75’).
The third Sunday game took place at the Toledo Union Field, where the proud Paradise/Freedom Fighters of Punta Gorda pulled out there first season victory against a game FC Belize, who saw their playoff hopes dimmed by another very close defeat. All 4 defeats suffered by FC Belize have been by 1 goal margins. After a nil-nil first half, Mark “Kelo” Leslie put FC Belize ahead at the 59th minute, but the Freedom Fighters came roaring back with goals from Edwardo Martinez (78’) and George Albejo (88’) to take the 2-1 win.
This one looks like it will go down “to the wire” for the 4 playoff spots. (See standings below.)
Upcoming Week 6 schedule:
Saturday, November 22
7:30 p.m. – Police United FC vs Paradise/Freedom Fighters – Isidoro Beaton Stadium
Sunday, November 23
3:30 p.m. – Placencia Texmar Assassins vs Belmopan Bandits FC – Michael Ashcroft Stadium
3:30 p.m. – San Ignacio United FC vs FC Belize – Norman Broaster Stadium
4:00 p.m. – Wagiya FC vs Belize Defence Force FC – Carl Ramos Stadium
***NOTICE: In keeping with the tradition for the Garifuna Settlement Day Celebrations, Wagiya FC will host Verdes FC in a friendly match on Tuesday, November 18, at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga; kickoff time is 7:30 p.m.
Both teams are in contention for a playoff spot, and their only official meeting this season will be on December 7 at the same venue; so this will be an interesting “feel out” for both teams. Though not for points, the game will no doubt have its traditional big turnout of football fans on the eve of Settlement Day, and nobody likes to lose “front a crowd.”