Despite heavy rains and a 20-minute blackout mid-way through the first half, Game 2 of the Belize Bank Super League championship series was played to regulation in front of a large crowd at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence on Saturday night, and it was another 2-1 victory for the home team Placencia Assassin over defending champion Raymond Gentle-City Boys United, to sweep the series 2-0 and clinch their first semi-pro championship for the Placencia Team.
From all accounts (we were not there), the Placencia team maintained its dominance over City Boys on execution of set pieces, their first goal coming at the 4th minute from an Ashley Torres header off a Wilmer Garcia free kick in first half, and the second a Wilmer Garcia header off a corner early in second half at the 48th minute. (In their last playoff game, Luis Torres scored a free kick for Placencia. In Game 1 of the championship series last week at the MCC in Belize City, City Boys defence was caught napping after a free kick, resulting in a goal a few seconds later for Placencia; and the game winner for Placencia came off a corner in injury time.) On Saturday, Deon McCaulay ended his two-game scoring drought from the penalty spot at the 63rd minute to cut the lead in half, but veteran Stephen “Pele” Lopez was otherwise impregnable in goal for Placencia, who were again 2-1 winners over City Boys.
In a half-time interview Saturday night on Love FM, City Boys and national team midfielder Elroy Kuylen for the second consecutive game complained about his team’s weakness in defensive marking for set pieces. And he was prophetic, as 3 minutes after resumption, it was another set piece, a corner kick that resulted in Placencia’s 2nd goal, a header from veteran striker Wilmer Garcia.
The game reportedly got physical, and referee David Glenmore Jones had to resort to a few yellow cards, as well as a disputed red card to Placencia’s Dellon Torres about 10 minutes before the long whistle. But after three straight victories over the defending champions (1-nil to end the playoffs, and 2-1 in both championship games), none can deny that Placencia Assassin are deserving of the title, 2011 Belize Bank Super League Champions.
Following the game prizes and awards were distributed for both the regular season and the championship. Placencia Assassin received their Belize Bank check for $25,000.00 along with the team “world cup style” trophy and gold medals for individual team members; R.G. City Boys United received a $10,000.00 Belize Bank check along with the sub-champion trophy and individual silver medals to team members.
Individual awards for the regular season and the championship series were also distributed after the game. Playoff MVP Stephen “Pele” Lopez of Placencia Assassin received a gift certificate from Princess Hotel & Casino for a night for 2 plus dinner for 2. Regular season MVP Deon McCaulay of R.G. City Boys United, who was also Best Forward and the Most Goals winner, received a Smart cellular phone, $300.00 cash and a gift certificate from Bacab Eco Park. Other individual award winners: Best Goalkeeper – Stanley “Jordan” Reneau (R.G. City Boys United); Best Defence – Dalton Eiley (Placencia Assassin); Best Midfield – Andres Makin, Jr. (Paradise/Freedom Fighters); Best Coach – John Pollard (R.G. City Boys United); and Best Manager – Raul Rosado (Orange Walk United) each received a Smart cellular phone.
This was the fifth year running of the Super League tournament, and the fourth with the sponsorship of Belize Bank. The five champions so far are: 2007 – Texmar; 2008 – Valley Renaissance; 2009 – Texmar Boys; 2010 – Raymond Gentle-City Boys United; and 2011 – Placencia Assassin.