SeaHawks shine against Sagitun

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 36            October 2, 2003

Features: Search Issues | Read Back Issues | Subscriptions | Merchandise Ordering Information

The San Pedro SeaHawks made the long journey to Independence last Saturday evening where the current Belize Premier Football League (BPFL) champions, Sagitun, were waiting. This was to be a stern test for the SeaHawks, with Sagitun resurgent after trouncing the Bandits the week before, here at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium. The SeaHawks were also fresh from an excellent win against Yabra in their last game and so the scene was set. 

    The Seahawks looked to show the same commitment levels from the week before and prove that victory was no fluke, but were immediately put on the back foot by the attack-minded hosts. Waves of attacks came onto the visiting defense, straight from the starting whistle, from both flanks and direct from midfield as the SeaHawks struggled to cope with the early onslaught.

    In the 10th minute, Tiger Sutherland had San Pedro's first effort on goal in reply to several from the opposition. From this effort, the Sagitun keeper launched the ball forward and long, and the small pitch caught out the central defense and Julio Valle was in between them and William Johnson. He got to the ball first to touch it past the keeper and then run it into the empty net for 1-0. this caused the large home crowd to turn up the volume as Sagitun looked for more.

    Next, Landy Pinelo tried an audacious volley attempt on goal from 40 yards out that unfortunately went over the bar, as he tried to catch Giovanni Rodriguez off his line from his punched clearance via a SeaHawks' free kick. But it was otherwise all Sagitun, as they looked like scoring from every attack and it was no surprise (within five minutes of the first goal) to see Valle add his and Sagitun's second, heading in a Marcos Soto cross.

    The SeaHawks were without the suspended Dixon Garcia and Jairo Sandoval, and found their midfield and defense being overrun by very dominating opponents. With the combination of Soto and Roberto Muschamp dictating play in the middle and utilizing the pacey wingers, and a very lively front pairing of Valle and Gilmore Palacio harassing the relatively short, central pairing of Hugo Pineda and Clive Young, Sagitun was causing the SeaHawks a lot of problems.

    Tiger Sutherland, playing in midfield, then picked up an injury in the 20th minute and was replaced by Ashton Lewis. The SeaHawks reshaped with Wicho dropping into left midfield and Ashton going up front. With the energy levels increased and the defensive chasing back, cover was improved and they stopped Sagitun in their tracks. 

    Not only did the SeaHawks stop the champions' creative flow, they also started to play too. Soon the SeaHawks were on top themselves, with some superb passing and moving football that pushed the hard working Sagitun onto the back foot. After several innovative attacks and free kick attempts, the SeaHawks got the goal they deserved, as in the 31st minute Landy Pinelo converted a penalty, given for handball.

    San Pedro created several good efforts as they really got into their stride with Swazo, Bonnie and Ashton all nearly scoring, as they piled on the pressure looking for an equalizer. This quieted the noisy, large home crowd, as the SeaHawks were in the middle of very good spell, creating lots of chances while conceding few, and all against a very good team.

    Halftime came with San Pedro down 2-1 but right back in the game and ending the half on top despite the deficit, when they had looked dead and buried after only 15 minutes.

    The second half was far more even with neither side dominating, as each had in the first, and they traded blows and chances in a very entertaining game. Six minutes into the second half, Sagitun introduced top scorer Francis Arzu for Palacio, who had started excellently, but since the first twenty minutes had been held in check by the resurgent defense. Arzu then caused a few problems with his strength of running, bringing fine defensive work from Pineda and Clive Young to deny him.

    Landy Pinelo repeated his long-range first-half volley, but this time it was on target and forced a combination of keeper and post to keep out. Benito Swazo had a fine effort and then saw Sagitun immediately break and Valle shoot just wide into the side netting when well placed. Both the crowd and stadium announcer thought it was in and Valles' hat trick was complete with the music blaring and fans celebrating, San Pedro took their goal kick and carried on.

    With half an hour gone, and Sagitun in the middle of a good spell having strengthened with another substitution, top scorer Arzu found himself unmarked with the chance to kill the game after some unusually poor San Pedro marking. As the ball came to him on the penalty spot, he took it down on his chest and, with the goal at his mercy and plenty of time to spare, fired wide. San Pedro now had a second wind and attacked with vigor but still needed to be alert to the dangerous counter attacks as Sagitun both defended and then attacked in numbers. Juveni Moreno then came on as a substitute into the midfield for Ashton Lewis who had run himself into the ground with an excellent contribution in attack and chasing back in defense.

    It was looking more and more as though the SeaHawks best performance of the season was going to end with nothing to show for it, which would have been really harsh. With only a couple of minutes remaining, Luis Ayuso floated a corner in from the right that was met with a fine header by Bob Gabourel, which flew in for the deserved equalizer.

    This Sunday, October 5th, the SeaHawks host Builder's Hardware Bandits in Ambergris Stadium at 3:00 p.m. The Regent Cup tournament is soon coming to a close, so all fans are encouraged to come out and cheer the island team onto victory.

    Manager Gabriel Arana commented on how very proud he was of the SeaHawks players. He stated, "These guys played like an international team - I wish everyone could have seen them in action on Sunday! They gave 110%."

    Through this medium, the team would like to thank the following sponsors: La Popular Bakery, Cholo's Sports Bar, Island Pure, Castillo's Hardware, Paradise Hotel, Belize Bank, E&L Butane Gas, Elvi's Kitchen, Southwind Properties, Graniel's Cabinet Shop, San Pedro Town Council, Lino's Meats, Belize Yacht Club, Corona del Mar, Royal Palm, Gecko Graphics, Ramon's Village, The San Pedro Sun and "un amigo".

    The SeaHawks management also wishes to thank the tons of fans who showed their support by calling during the SeaHawks' game on Sunday, checking in on the team and encouraging them to win. Also, special thanks to Ramon's Village and Belize Bank for the extra assistance they provided.     In other Belize Premier Football League play last weekend, Juventus massacred the Builder's Hardware Bandits 3-0, Griga United upset Real Verdes 1-0, and Kulture Yabra defeated Jacintoville 2-0.

    On Sunday, October 5th, Jacintoville United meets Sagitun on Union Field, Real Verdes takes on Kulture Yabra in Norman Broaster Stadium, and Griga United battles Juventus in Carl Ramos Stadium; all games begin at 3:30 p.m.

   The current BPFL team standings and points are as follows: 1) Juventus - 21, 2) Kulture Yabra - 21, 3) Builder's Hardware Bandits - 21, 4) Sagitun - 19, 5) Real Verdes - 13, 6) SP SeaHawks - 11, 7) Jacintoville United - 11, and 8) Griga United - 9.

    Stay tuned to The San Pedro Sun, the official newspaper of the San Pedro SeaHawks, for more exciting results of Regent Cup play.
Search go!
| | Island Info | Community | History | Visitor Center |
Belize News | | Messages |

Copyright © San Pedro Sun. Design by Casado Internet Group

San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize News