BELIZE CITY, Mon. Oct. 29, 2018– With the completion of Week 11 games this past weekend, 3 more weeks of regular season remain in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2018-2019 Opening Season, and 2 of 4 playoff spots have already been secured by Belmopan Bandits SC and Verdes FC. (See standings below.)
On Saturday night in Independence, home standing Altitude Assassins FC took an early lead through Rollin Burgess (4’), but Verdes FC rebounded early in second half through Edwin Villedabernal (52’) and an own goal by Assassins’ Miguel Garcia (65’ OG), to secure the 2-1 road victory. Meanwhile, it was a see-saw affair at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium, where undefeated Belmopan Bandits SC had to come from behind to secure a 4-4 draw with Police United FC. The Bandits enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 first half lead through Ian “Yellow” Gaynair (10’) and Georgie Welcome (32’); but the tide turned drastically thereafter, with Police United going in front, 4-2, with goals from Marlon “El Matador” Meza (45’ PK), Devon Makin (47’), and Orlando “Leechi” Jimenez (63’), along with an own goal by Bandits’ Ian Gaynair (52’ OG). The Bandits were not done, however, making a late comeback through Jerome “Jarro” James (79’) and Inri Gonzaga (93’) to secure the 4-4 stalemate and preserve their undefeated status.
In a “Battle of the South” on Sunday afternoon at the Victor Sanchez Union Field in Punta Gorda, all the scoring was done before mid-way in first half, as P.G.’s Freedom Fighters FC prevailed, 3-1, over Wagiya FC from Dangriga. Alexander “Pleck” Peters opened the scoring at the 10th minute for Freedom Fighters; but immediately after, Griga star striker Jonard Castillo equalized the score at the 11th minute. The home team was not to be denied, though, as Jaren Lambey made it 2-1 Freedom Fighters with his goal at the 16th minute, and Peters converted a penalty at the 23rd for the 3-1 final score, Freedom Fighters over Wagiya. Meanwhile, at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, BDF FC saw their playoff hopes dashed as they fell, 2-1, to visiting San Pedro Pirates FC. Under Mexican coach Renan Couoh (formerly FFB Technical Director), San Pedro showed impressive ball movement in midfield, while BDF coach Charlie Slusher tried to counter with his team’s speed and athleticism. Following a sequence of passes from the right corner flag to the top of the eighteen, San Pedro striker Edward Oliva drove a right-footed grounder just inside the left goal post and past a diving Tevin Gamboa in goal for BDF, to give the visitors the 1-nil lead at the 9th minute. Early in second half, a spectacular 35-yard free kick from the left side by BDF rookie striker, Latrell Middleton sank into the right “V” past the outstretched hand of San Pedro goalie, Rugerri Trejo, to knot the score at 1-1 at the 56th minute; but it was a similarly spectacular free kick at the 77th minute, this time a left-footed strike from the right side by San Pedro midfielder Jesse Smith that found the left “V” past a diving Gamboa. And that’s how it ended, 2-1, San Pedro Pirates FC over BDF FC, who are, sadly for MCC fans, now out of playoff contention.
Upcoming Week 12 schedule:
Saturday, November 3
7:30 p.m. – Altitude Assassins FC vs BDF FC – M.A. Stadium
8:00 p.m. – Belmopan Bandits SC vs Freedom Fighters FC – Isidoro Beaton Stadium
Sunday, November 4
4:00 p.m. – Verdes FC vs San Pedro Pirates FC – Santa Elena Sporting Complex
4:00 p.m. – Police United FC vs Wagiya FC – Isidoro Beaton Stadium