San Pedro Slams Acros 3-2

Celebrating the victory

Ambergris Stadium rocked in the first half of the Semi-pro playoff game between San Pedro Football Club, the number one team, and Acros Duurly who qualified last weekend drawing with Juventus 0-0. Despite a surging Acros team and the refs the islanders walked away with their first victory in the playoffs for the national championship. After the first half San Pedro led 3 to nil and it seemed that Acros had forgotten that they were visiting "La Isla Bonita" to play football. Maybe they were waiting for the Sea & Air Festival or some of the island hospitality they had heard of. Well, they got neither on August 11. What they got was an introduction to a team that is determined to win the national championship based on talent and athleticism. Near the beginning of play, Pedro Barahona scored the first goal for San Pedro, setting the crowd on fire and the pace for the rest of the half. Landi Pinelo (recently acclaimed the best player in the league by no less than the Amandala - like we didn't already know) scored two goals. One was the result of a penalty kick while the other came from superior play. San Pedro was on a mission.

At half time, the sweat soaked team stretched their throbbing muscles and prepared mentally for the quest for victory. Things changed a bit in the second half. Acros seemed to come alive and were threatening. San Pedro fans were blinded by the golden color of the defenders' uniforms as they made Acros' goal impenetrable. At the other end of the field Delmar Sutherland came through for the homeboys. He tipped balls from the net and stretched, leapt and chased missiles that were destined to score. Unfortunately, two got through. Acros scored on a penalty kick that was received on a very controversial call from one of the refs. They quickly followed it up with what seemed to be a "clean" goal. With the score at 3-2 the islanders realized that this would be no walk through the park. Not only did they have to play to perfection to beat an inspired team but they had to compete with the officials as well. It seemed like the islanders wouldn’t have the gas to go the full 45 minutes of the second half. Sutherland saw too much action at goal and Pinelo seemed to cool waiting for the opportunity to strike. But once again, San Pedro’s wall of defence stepped up and met the challenge. Acros had many opportunities to score and the only reward they got was the first two goals scored in the first five minutes of the 2nd half.

About twenty minutes into the second half San Pedro was able to put on an offensive show. Time after time (led by the brilliant footwork of Gama) the team was within striking distance. And time after time they were knocked down by one of the Acros defenders. And time after time, no penalty was called. But with the 3-2 lead, the islanders were not willing to let Acros come ahead and rob them of their victory. They employed many game-delaying tactics, everything in an effort to keep the ball away from Sutherland’s goal. It seemed as if they realized that were there any question, the answer would be in favor of Acros.

During play several members of the crowd offered to write this sports report. The first comment was "San Pedro 5, Acros nil." Next came a more optimistic score of San Pedro winning 10-0. It was explained that if the Sun wrote a loss no newspapers would be sold, but everyone would love a 10-nil victory. "Just say it was sponsored by Lino’s Meats," the group said. Walking out of Ambergris Stadium it was overheard that San Pedro not only beat Acros but they beat the officials too. That is truly the accomplishment of a superior team.

In last weekend's match up between Verdes and Juventus, Verdes came away with a 2-1 victory. Dr. Daniel Gonzales feels that Verdes will be a real challenge to San Pedro. "They are playing very strong and have an excellent team," Dr. Gonzales said. "However, San Pedro is playing very well. We are missing one of our stars, Mario Sikonga, but we are still winning. That is the sign of a great (not just a good) team. We are playing as a team, not just around one individual."

The upcoming schedule for San Pedro looks difficult but everyone has confidence that the islanders will come out victorious. The next game San Pedro plays will be on September 7 against Juventus in Orange Walk. Then they are scheduled to meet Verdes. Dr. Dan feels that the championship match will be between San Pedro and Verdes. If that is to happen, the two teams will meet twice - once here and once there. The winner will be determined by the outcome of those two games. In the event of a tie, a third game will be played.

Although there are at least 2 more games to be played, if San Pedro maintains its excellent form and enthusiasm it may well be the first time that a title comes to the island. The more fans at a game, the better it is for our team so come out and cheer as the islanders go for the cup.

San Pedro Sun

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