BELIZE CITY, Wed. Dec. 18, 2019– After a 1-1 draw in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2019-2020 Opening Season Finals game 1 a week ago at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, Sunday’s Finals game 2 at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio was “for all the marbles” between home standing Verdes FC and visiting Bandits Sport from the capital city; and this time it was the “Green Machine” with the 2-nil victory and the championship.
Verdes teammates, (l to r) striker Jerome “Jarro” James, 2nd goalkeeper Isaias Franco, and goalkeeper Woodrow West
A number of former Bandits players are now playing with Verdes, and a number of former Verdes players are presently on the Bandits register, so it was a natural possibility that one of those players would be instrumental in the victory against his former team; and, indeed, that was the case.
Young striker Krisean Lopez returning to the field after being sidelined by harsh tackles
Verdes fans had anticipated the return to action of league leading scorer Mariano Landero, who had been out with an injury; but on Sunday Landero started on the bench, and Verdes coach Cesar Martin Dall’Orso put the veteran and former Bandit, Jerome “Jarro” James up front as starting twin striker with the young Krisean Lopez. And Jarro delivered, heading in the go-ahead, and what proved to be the winning goal at the 20th minute, after an Edwin Bernal drive gave a tricky bounce off the chest of Bandits goalie, Shane Moody Orio. Bandits wasted a couple good opportunities to equalize in first half, an open one-on-one with goalie Woodrow West that midfielder turned striker Jefrie James failed to capitalize on, a penalty opportunity that saw West, stop the right corner shot by Bandits midfielder Roberto Silva De Lima.
Verdes midfielders, (l to r) Denmark Casey and Jordy Polanco, both former Bandits
Verdes’ Denmark Casey – Jordy Polanco tandem repeatedly stretched the Bandits defense, and their only answer for the quickness and impeccable ball control of Verdes striker Krisean Lopez was often to “cut him down,” which they did once too often, resulting in a penalty, converted by sweeper Elroy Smith at the 89th minute to seal the 2-nil victory and the championship.
Former Verdes coach, Marvin Ottley (left) and midfielder Edwin Bernal (right)
Goals: Verdes – Jerome “Jarro” James (20’) and Elroy Smith (89’ PK).
Verdes’ Myvett brothers, (l to r) Darrel and Jahron
Champions, Verdes FC: #27 goalkeeper © Woodrow West; #99 Evral Trapp; #6 Elroy Smith; #15 Norman Anderson; $14 Darrel Myvett; #11 Jahron Myvett; #12 Denmark Casey; #16 Jordy Polanco (#8 Ricardo Jimenez at 70’); #33 Edwin Bernal; #35 Jerome James (#9 Mariano Landero at 90’); #25 Krisean Lopez. Coach – Cesar Martin Dall’Orso.
A guaranteed winner on Sunday, former Police United FC coach and Asst. Commissioner, Andres Makin, Sr. (center) flanked by sons, Devon of Verdes (left) and Andres, Jr. of Bandits (right)
Sub-Champions, Bandits SC: #1 goalkeeper Shane Moody Orio; #19 Trevor Lennan; #13 © Dalton Eiley; #17 Ian Gaynair; #2 Carlos Urtilla; #7 Nahjib Guerra (#21 Humberto Requena at 64’); #10 Roberto Silva De Lima (#14 Andres Makin, Jr. at 74’); #8 Kevin Vicente Guevara; #16 Daniel Jimenez; #5 Jefrie James (#4 Highking Roberts at 64’); #9 Georgie Welcome. Coach – Kent Gabourel.
Verdes’ midfielder Ricardo “Cheety” Jimenez (His brother, Danny, a former Verdes, is now with the Bandits.)
Officials: Referee – Brian Lopez (Guatemala); Assistants – Julian Diaz (Guatemala) and Rene Cifuentes (Guatemala); 4th Official – Juan Colindres (Belize).
Verdes’ (l to r) striker Mariano Landero and defender Evral Trapp
Feature photo: (l to r) Bandits’ Nahjib Guerra (formerly of Verdes) and Verdes’ Norman Anderson (formerly of Bandits)
Verdes coach Cesar Martin Dall’Orso studying the action