Sports — 15 May 2019
Snake eyes in 1st leg of Women’s League Semifinals:

Rumberas 1:1 Jewel Fury Bandits; Verdes Rebels 1:1 Gladiators

BELIZE CITY, Mon. May 13, 2019– The highly anticipated football playoffs in the National Amateur Women’s League 2018-2019 Closing Season is living up to all expectations, as both semifinal 1st leg games ended deadlocked at 1-1 over the weekend. Despite early regular season lopsided scores in some games, we couldn’t ask for a more competitive scenario in the best-of-two games semifinals.

       

Consider this: South Group rivals Rumberas, from Independence Village, and defending champions Jewel Fury Bandits, from Belmopan, have drawn both times they met in regular season (1-1 and 2-2), both ending the double round-robin with undefeated records. Both then disposed of their respective North Group opponents in the best-of-two quarterfinals. And now, in game 1 of their semifinal series at the M.A. Stadium in Independence on Saturday night, it was a 1-1 draw. Jayda Brown (9‘) gave visiting Jewel Fury Bandits the early lead, but a late penalty conversion by Rumberas’ captain Quiniah Caliz (86’ PK) knotted the score at 1-1, where it stayed till the long whistle. Isidoro Beaton Stadium will be rocking with the 2nd leg on Saturday night, as a winner must finally be produced between these two outstanding teams.

And the situation was just as intriguing when North Group rivals Verdes Rebels from Cayo and Gladiators of Orange Walk clashed at the Norman Broaster Stadium on Sunday afternoon. They had split regular season games, 2-1 for Verdes, and 4-1 for Gladiators; the only loss suffered by each in regular season. In the quarterfinals, both prevailed against their respective South Group foes, before being matched against each other in the semifinals. And here again it was the visitors taking the first half lead, as the league’s top goal scorer, Gladiators’ Kaite Jones (26’) rose to the occasion; but again a late strike for the home team, by Gisel Baeza (87’), tied the score at 1-1 for Verdes Rebels, and it remained that way till the end. It will be another monster match-up between these two splendid teams this coming Sunday at People’s Stadium. They go all the way to penalties, if necessary, to decide a winner, who earns a spot in the championship final.

NAWL Semifinals 2nd leg:
Saturday, May 18
4:30 p.m. – Jewel Fury Bandits vs Rumberas – Isidoro Beaton Stadium
Sunday, May 19
3:00 p.m. – Gladiators vs Verdes Rebels – People’s Stadium

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Deshawn Swasey

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