BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Nov. 17, 2022
This Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2022-2023 Opening Season regular tournament, and now the semifinal series have both been the most competitive in years. There are no guarantees, no soft cushion for any team going into Leg 2 of the semifinals this weekend. The 2nd seed Verdes FC and 3rd seed San Pedro Pirates FC played to a 2-2 draw last Saturday night at Ambergris Stadium. And at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk on Sunday afternoon, #1 seed Altitude FC squeezed out a 2-1 win over a game, young #4 seed Progresso FC squad.
Of note in the Progresso vs Altitude series is that star midfielder Delone Torres, who opened the scoring for Altitude last Sunday, will likely be out of action due to a serious knee injury; while Progresso should once again have the services of talented striker Marlon Gutierrez, who served a suspension for that game.
Verdes and San Pedro are evenly matched, but the defending champs will be at home in the Norman Broaster. These teams drew twice in regular season, 0-0 in San Ignacio and 2-2 in San Pedro; then in the semifinals Leg 1 they again drew 2-2.
The 2nd leg matches will decide who goes on to the final. There will be no third game, regardless of the outcomes this weekend. According to PLB general secretary Wilhelm Miguel, goal difference will determine the series winners, and if teams are equal in that category, then the “away goal rule” comes into effect, where a goal scored away counts for 2 points while a goal scored on home turf gets one point only. But the “away goal rule” only comes into effect IF there is a tie in aggregate goals scored over the two games.
And if there is the occasion that the teams are still tied even after applying the “away goal rule,” as in case there is another 2-2 draw in San Ignacio, then the next step will be a 15-15 overtime; and if still tied, then it is on to penalties. A winner must be decided in each semifinal series this weekend.
PLB Semifinals Leg 2 schedule:
Saturday, November 19
7:30 p.m. – Altitude FC vs Progresso FC – M.A. Stadium in Independence
Sunday, November 20
4:00 p.m. – Verdes FC vs San Pedro Pirates FC – Norman Broaster Stadium