"Landy-Less" San Pedro Turquoise win Championship

The #1 team - San Pedro Turquoise

The scene was set for the return match at the M.C.C. Grounds after having won the first match at Ambergris Stadium with four goals from Landy. In recognition of the respect that this player commands, he was asked to reinforce the Juventus team which was playing against Motagua in Orange Walk.

As scheduled, Ruperto Vicente, blew his whistle exactly at 4:00 p.m. in front of about 100 odd fans from the city and about 20 from San Pedro. Immediately the intentions of Krem Lakers became evident, explicitly the physiological effect of home field advantage and the absence of Landy. Three minutes after the whistle blew, an incursion down the right side by #11 is mishandled by Menolio who loses and the offensive player was able to let go a low right shot that went wide.

The game then fell into a long, long game. Each team controlling and losing the ball in the midfield and launching long shots for the strikers which were controlled by the respective goalkeeper. At the eleventh minute of time one of these long passes is served in front of Jairo with the defense caught by surprise and he mishandles to lose the clearest goal opportunity for the Turquoise. This drew comments from the Belize fans that San Pedro is just not a factor without Landy Pinelo and so it seemed because they got countless opportunities which were lost either due to lack of speed or failure to think clearly when in possession of the ball. This was basically how the first 45 minutes transpired ending in a nil to nil score.

Whatever was said by the Krem coach during the half time respite really worked. This writer overheard the coach demanding Leslie Gill to apologize to his fellow players since he had been arguing throughout the first period with the bench and thus causing confusion to his team in general. When the whistle blew for the concluding half it was Krem who went on the offensive. They started controlling and keeping the ball a little longer instead of just kicking it for the sake of it. This resulted in the second minute for #11 to cross the ball to his partner #13 who simply seeing Richard "Shabba" Castillo a little bit out of his goal area, lobs the ball over the heads of the defense and the keeper himself for the first Krem goal that caused their fans to go crazy and to start chanting "four more" since that's what Krem needed to score to win the championship. Three minutes later, this hope was reinforced when the ball lands into the net again for the 2 to nil lead by Belize, after San Pedro fell prey to confusion due to the first early goal. The fresh and speedy substitute player #1 takes the ball and does a nice job of controlling and passing several players lifting the ball from the left hand side over to the middle of the eighteen yard line where temperamental Leslie Gill takes off his feet like a bird and unleashes a beautiful "Chilena" kick which again beats "Shabba" who did not expect anything his way since the ball was a ways off his area.

This second goal seemed to spur the San Pedro Turquoise to react since they were allowing the Lakers to put them in jeopardy of losing the amateur first division football championship. In the seventh minute, the relatively slow Ivan Vasquez gets a long pass down the right hand side. Although slow, since the ball was so far ahead of him and the Krem players trying to play the off side touch, Ivan controls the ball and touches gently to the left corner of "Reneau's" goal and the Turquoise is on the score 1 to 2. At the twelfth minute of play, Leslie Gill, is finally carded due to his aggressiveness and disrespect for the referee.

The tone of the match was intensive and well disputed by both squads after the Turquoise's first goal and the effectiveness of both defenses came to light. Around the 27th minute Krem seemed to relax due to frustration of not being able to score and started to defend, probably to draw San Pedro forward for a subsequent counter-attack. When in the 31st minute they decided to launch a speedy counter attack, Shabba controls a shot from #22 of Krem and then propels the ball to Oscar Pinelo at the midfield line who subsequently airs it over again to Ivan Vasquez who is well positioned between two defense and right on the line to avoid the off side call. Again Krem loses the benefit of the offside call and Ivan advances about five yards causing the goalkeeper to come out to reduce his angle of shooting. Seeing this move and knowing that his first goal was a low shot, he decides to shoot high over the head of the keeper who does not expect this and gives up the equalizer. After this score both teams struggled to put together a coordinated offensive play that would give them the advantage, however, when the final whistle blew it was a tied 2 to 2 game giving the Turquoise the Championship and classifying them to participate in the Nationals where the champ and sub-champ play with the two last teams of the semi-pro to decide who ascends to the semi-pro level.

At this point the management of the San Pedro Turquoise expresses sincere thanks to all its fans for the enthusiastic support shown to them. Also the players and management express their sincerest thanks to their sponsors: San Pedro Hardware, Mr. Milton Chan, The San Pedro Town Board, Graniel's Construction & Cabinet Shop, Amigos del Mar, Victoria House, Tropica Beach Resort, Coral Cable Vision, Bananas Bar & Grill, Jerry Jeff Walker and Ramon's Village.

Line-up: Richard "Shabba" Castillo - goalkeeper; Carlos Brinceño, Menalio Vasquez, Jarvi Velasquez and Clive Young - defense; Bonny Gentle, Hector Gama, Oscar Pinelo, Jairo Sandoval - midfield; Elvis Budna and Ivan Vasquez - forward; Alberto Quintanilla and Luis Uribio - substitutes; Joe Reymundo - coach.

"Landy-Less" San Pedro Turquoise win Championship

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