BELIZE CITY, Mon. Oct. 22, 2018– The most sought after, and thus usually the highest paid, commodity in football is the goal scorer, as the game essentially is all about scoring goals. Some strikers are consistent over a long period, and some run hot and then go cold for a long while. These factors need to be taken into consideration when a team is fielded in any game or competition. It is also hard to predict when a striker will break out of a cold spell; and thus it is a challenge for any coach to make his pick of one or the other in his starting eleven.
The recent scoreless outing for the Belize national team in our 1-nil loss to Montserrat resulted in much criticism from fans. The then leading Belizean goal scorer in the PLB tournament, Alexander “Pleck” Peters of Freedom Fighters FC, did not even make the national team that travelled to Montserrat. With our chances of qualification to the Gold Cup looking dim, the national team coaching staff will certainly be more focused in the days ahead to see which strikers are in best form to deliver the goods against Puerto Rico. This past weekend, three young strikers who were on the bench to start the Montserrat game (Jonard Castillo, Krisean Lopez and Trimayne Harris), each came up with a goal for his respective PLB team, while national team veteran Jerome “Jarro” James (who was not part of the national team in Montserrat) and San Pedro import Edward Chavirra each scored a hat trick (3 goals). Belize faces Puerto Rico at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium on Friday, November 16.
Another major concern of football fans is that national team head coach Palmiro Salas has not travelled with the team. When the most important task of a coach is on-the-spot decision making at a game, it begs the question if this arrangement should continue.
Week 10 of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2018-2019 Opening Season began on Saturday night, October 20, at the Ambergris Stadium, where San Pedro Pirates FC surged into 3rd place in the standings with a 6-1 thrashing of Placencia’s Altitude Assassins FC with goals from Jessie Smith (11’), Edward Chavirra (50’, 53’ & 66’), Louis Valdez (70’) and Pablo Mendizaba (79’); while Rollin Burgess (52’) got the only goal for the Assassins.
National team veteran Evan Mariano was the man of the moment for visiting Freedom Fighters FC from Punta Gorda, who came back from a 1-nil deficit to draw with Police United FC at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium on Sunday afternoon, despite being a man down after midfielder Keithon Dyer was red-carded. Andres Makin, Jr. gave Police the 1-nil lead with a right foot blast from the top of the eighteen at the 47th minute; but Evan Mariano equalized things for the Freedom Fighters with his header at the 66th minute, and then assisted on the go-ahead goal by teammate Leary Simon at the 75th. But home standing Police United got lucky at the 83rd minute, when a hard, low line-drive by right winger Danny Jimenez caromed off the body of PG goalkeeper Stephen Polonio and into the net, to salvage the 2-2 draw. Meanwhile, farther west at the Santa Elena Sporting Complex, Verdes FC only managed a 2-1 win against struggling BDF FC. Young Krisean Lopez gave Verdes the early lead at the 13th minute; but Michael Myvett equalized for BDF at the 51st, before the veteran Ricardo “Cheety” Jimenez pulled out the game winner for Verdes at the 81st minute. Also on Sunday afternoon, there was some talk of a possible upset down south at the Carl Ramos Stadium, where the young Wagiya FC was hosting undefeated league leaders Belmopan Bandits SC. And the hopes of Griga fans remained alive after half-time came with the score still at 0-0. But Bandits veteran Jerome “Jarro” James took over the game in second half, netting 3 goals in quick succession, with Wagiya’s only response coming from promising young striker Jonard Castillo at the 64th minute. Jarro’s hat trick (51’, 53’ & 68’) was enough for the Bandits victory, but Trimayne Harris (94’) added another in injury time for the 4-1 final score.
Upcoming Week 11 games:
Saturday, October 27
7:30 p.m. – Altitude Assassins FC vs Verdes FC – M.A. Stadium
8:00 p.m. – Belmopan Bandits SC vs Police United FC – Isidoro Beaton Stadium
8:00 p.m. – Freedom Fighters FC vs Wagiya FC – Victor Sanchez Union Field
Sunday, October 28
4:00 p.m. – BDF FC vs San Pedro Pirates FC – MCC Grounds