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Cafu’s hat trick; Benque’s first loss; Verdes concedes first goal

SportsCafu’s hat trick; Benque’s first loss; Verdes concedes first goal

Photo: Verdes FC

PLB Week 6 completed; season mid-point this weekend

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Feb. 19, 2024

Verdes FC remains undefeated after 6 weeks of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2023-2024 Closing Season, but they conceded their first goal in a 4-1 win over visiting Progresso FC yesterday at the Norman Broaster Stadium. Meanwhile, Wagiya’s veteran striker Harrison “Cafu” Roches registered a hat trick in a come from behind 3-2 victory over Bandits Sports at the Carl Ramos Stadium.

Already, the first round-robin of the PLB Closing Season will be completed with Week 7 games this weekend; and then it will be the home stretch for the regular season, and the “road to Concacaf” championship playoffs.

Only 1 Saturday night game was played this past weekend in Week 6 of this tournament, and it was at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo, where defending champion Altitude FC came away with the 2-1 victory over Police United FC. Altitude got a goal in each half, from Andres Orozco (27’) and Ashton Torres (57’), while Police escaped the shutout with a late injury time goal from Brayan Sanchez (90+5’).

On Sunday afternoon at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio, undefeated league-leading Verdes FC finally gave up a goal, their first conceded this season, but still cruised to a 4-1 win over Progresso FC, whose goal came early in second half from Aloisio Teixeira (62’). Shaking the net for Verdes were Krisean Lopez (3’ & 10’), Ronald Benavides (20’) and Matias Veron (75’).
Meanwhile, down south at the Carl Ramos Stadium, rising star Jonard Castillo (23’ & 25’) gave visiting Bandits Sports a first half 2-nil lead over home team Wagiya SC; but second half saw the veteran striker Harrison “Cafu” Roches cutting the lead in half early (50’), and then adding two more goals near the end (88’ & 90’) to clinch the 3-2 home victory for Wagiya.

In the other Sunday encounter here at the Marion Jones Sports Complex in the old capital, Port Layola FC gave their fans something to cheer about as they rode a first half goal from Orlando “Bredda” Velasquez (32’) to a 1-nil victory against a tough Benque United FC squad that suffered their first defeat of the season. Port Layola’s Opening Season MVP and top goal scorer Gilroy “Bredda” Thurton, out with a fractured leg, will not likely be available for the rest of this season, but they still have formidable striking power with the addition of the other Bredda, Orlando Velasquez along with Latrell Middleton and Shawn Young.

With the first round of the Closing Season coming to an end this weekend, Verdes is way out in front in the race to Concacaf, and the only way to stop them is to deny them the Closing Season championship, a daunting task at this stage. But come the playoffs, who knows?

PLB Week 7 schedule:

Saturday, February 24
7:30 p.m. – Benque United FC vs Verdes FC – Marshalleck Stadium
7:30 p.m. – Altitude FC vs Wagiya SC – M.A. Stadium in Independence
7:30 p.m. – Bandits Sports vs Port Layola FC – Isidoro Beaton Stadium
7:30 p.m. – Progresso FC vs Police United FC – People’s Stadium

Looking ahead to Week 8:

Saturday, March 2
7:30 p.m. – Bandits Sports vs Verdes FC – Isidoro Beaton Stadium
7:30 p.m. – Benque United FC vs Progresso FC – Marshalleck Stadium

Sunday, March 3
4:00 p.m. – Port Layola FC vs Altitude FC – Marion Jones Stadium
4:00 p.m. – Wagiya SC vs Police United FC – Carl Ramos Stadium

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