Only 3 of the scheduled 4 games were played over the weekend in Week 6 of the BPFL Caribbean Motors Cup 2010 Opening Season; and when the dust had settled, the defending back-to-back champions, Belize Defence Force stood alone at the top of the standings. Despite losing a number of players from last season’s squad as well as their highly accomplished coach, Guatemalan Palmiro Salas, the BDF team has retained their fighting spirit under newly promoted head coach Gregory “Paisa” Cantun. They triumphed 2-nil in the big showdown yesterday at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga against Griga United, the team that benefited from the BDF defections that included star players Dennis Serano, Lisbey Castillo and Kareem Haylock. Meanwhile, the BDF replacements have included two more Jimenez brothers Richard “Cheety” Jimenez and Daniel “Danny” Jimenez, who was last season’s Best Forward, Most Goals and MVP with Hankook Verdes. They join their eldest brother Orlando “Leechi” Jimenez, who was the playoff MVP in the most recent BDF championship. On the other hand, Verdes are now struggling without a win so far after 5 games played in the new season.
Belize City fans were hardly aware of the extent of the changes in the BDF camp because, having moved their home field to the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio, BDF is yet to make an appearance this season at the MCC Grounds in Belize City; but they will do so this coming Sunday against the only other undefeated team in the competition, F.C. Belize. Aside from the many defections and new additions, a number of red cards were issued in yesterday’s game at the Carl Ramos, which will affect the line-up that the army can put together this Sunday. Belize City fans will recall that new BDF head coach Gregory “Paisa” Cantun has benefited from his experience as a player for Belikin under legendary coach Cristobal Mayen, and most recently as assistant coach under former Belize National Team coach, Palmiro Salas, who recently led BDF to back-to-back titles.
In yesterday’s game in Dangriga, shown live on Krem T.V., speedy striker Evan Mariano put the visiting army up 1-nil at the 7th minute, and Richard “Cheety” Jimenez ended Griga United hopes of a “get-back” with his injury time 92nd minute strike to make it 2-nil, BDF over Griga United.
Meanwhile, further south at the Toledo Union Field, the visiting F.C. Belize came away with their undefeated record intact, having played to a 0-0 draw with home-standing Toledo Ambassadors.
In the only Saturday night game, it was another draw, 1-1, this time at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan. Christopher Hendricks put home-standing Belmopan Blaze in front at the 22nd minute, but Everardo Cruz equalized for visiting San Felipe Barcelona at the 78th minute for the 1-1 final score.
The other scheduled Saturday game, between Hankook Verdes and San Pedro Sea Dogs, was not played. A league release late this evening said the game had been awarded to Verdes by default, with a score of 3-0. No explanation has been forwarded for the San Pedro default, or if there will be any league sanctions. With the “freebie”, Verdes is now 1 point up in the standings ahead of Belmopan Blaze, who earned their 3 points from San Pedro on the field with a 3-nil win.
Weekend Round 7 games:
Saturday, October 23
7:30 p.m. – Belmopan Blaze vs Hankook Verdes – Isidoro Beaton Stadium
Sunday, October 24
4:00 p.m. – San Felipe Barcelona vs San Pedro Sea Dogs
4:00 p.m. – Griga United vs Toledo Ambassadors – Carl Ramos Stadium
4:00 p.m. – F.C. Belize vs Belize Defence Force