The stage is set: Police vs F.C. Belize; BDF vs Placencia Assassins in home and away

The final Premier League regular season games, Week 10, were played over the weekend, and the final playoff spot was clinched by F.C. Belize with their road win yesterday against Juventus. With a 1-point lead over San Felipe Barcelona going into yesterday’s games, as it turned out, F.C. Belize didn’t need the win, as San Felipe fell on the road to San Pedro Seadogs. The stage is now set for North Zone champions Belize Defence Force to clash with South Zone 2nd place Placencia Assassins; while the only undefeated team, South Zone winners Police United will square off against North Zone runners-up F.C. Belize.

There were 3 Saturday night games over the weekend. At the Norman Broaster Stadium in san Ignacio, it was BDF, 5-0, over World FC, with 2 goals coming from Marlon “El Matador” Meza (22 and 84 min), and 1 each from Richard “Cheety” Jimenez (51 min), Harrison Tasher (66 min) and Michael Martinez (70 min). Meanwhile, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, it was visiting Paradise/Freedom Fighters, 1-nil, over the home squad, Belmopan Bandits, with the lone goal of the game coming from Ralph Flores at the 34th minute. And at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, Police United closed the curtain on a spectacular undefeated regular season with a 6-nil slamming of short-staffed visitors, Hankook Verdes. Police got 2 goals each from Oswald Young (7 and 45 min) and Lennox “Criminal” Castillo (10 and 57 min), and 1 each from Trevor “Burger” Lennon (42 min) and Sean Mas (65 min).

On Sunday, San Pedro Seadogs finished their regular season with a bang, registering their second consecutive big win at home at the San Pedro Municipal Stadium, where they shut out visiting San Felipe Barcelona, 4-0, with 2 goals from league leading goleador, rookie Jesse Smith (27 and 78 min), and a goal apiece from Francisco Mejia (61 min) and Ethnie Figueroa (84 min). (See top goal scorers list.) Last Sunday, San Pedro blanked Juventus, 6-nil, at the island. With yesterday’s victory, the Seadogs clinched 3rd place in the regular season standings, but it was still not good enough to make the playoffs, which feature only the top 2 teams from the North and South zones.

Uncertain of the happenings in San Pedro, F.C. Belize had to take matters into their own hands yesterday at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk, where they gained a hard fought 4-2 win over home standing Juventus. Juventus jumped the game early on a 2nd minute goal by Clifton West and took the 1-nil lead into the intermission. Jeremy Bermudez Archer equalized for F.C. Belize early in 2nd half at the 56th minute, and Franciso “Peelie” Briceno made it 2-1 in favor of F.C. Belize with his strike at the 60th minute. But Juventus came back 5 minutes later to knot things up 2-2 with a goal frm Osmar Duran at the 65th minute. With the game, and possibly a playoff spot on the line, Jeromy “Jarro” James rose to the occasion for F.C. Belize, delivering their 3rd goal at the 70th minute for the 3-2 lead. Carlton Rogers put on the “icing” to make it 4-2, F.C. Belize, with his goal deep in injury time (90+ 6 min).

The other Sunday game to end the regular season took place at the Placencia Football Field, where playoff bound Placencia Assassins got some help from their opponents, visiting San Ignacio United, to clinch the 2-1 home victory. San Ignacio’s Seannon Defour’s 48th minute own goal gave Placencia the 1-nil lead, which they increased to 2-nil with a 68th minute strike by Leomar Leslie. Evral Trapp’s injury time goal (90+ 2 min) for San Ignacio avoided the shutout for the visitors.

Amandala