By William Ysaguirre Freelance Reporter
Defending champions, the Belmopan Bandits posted their first victory in four outings in the Belikin Cup closing the season competition organized by the Premiere League of Belize: 2-0 over FC Belize at the MCC grounds on Belize City on Sunday, March 23.
The game was delayed for more than an hour as the hosts’ new uniforms from the new sponsor SMART, were white, the same color as the all-white outfits worn by the Bandits for their away games. By the rules FC Belize had the right to play in their colors and the visitors should have donned another color, a situation which could have been avoided if the FC management had informed the Bandits to bring their red jerseys. As it turned out, FC Belize was obliged to don black jerseys to avoid confusing the officials.
Brandon Peyrefitte and Elroy Kuylen led the Bandits’ offensive supported by Deris “Colombia” Benavides and David Trapp at midfield and Denmark Casey and Denis Serano on the wings, but speedy Ryan Gill, Christian Perez held them at bay.
Jorge Aleman and Jarret Davis led the FC attacks with the help of Avian Crawford and David “Gringo” Ramos on the wings and Thomas Castro and Ryan Simpson at midfield, penetrating between Bandits’ defenders Ian Gaynair, Tyrone Pandy, Eric Rodriguez and Shane Armstrong, for many open chances at goal, but they failed to finish. Thomas Castro’s bullet of a shot at point blank range was ably handled by goalkeeper Woodrow West.
Only 13 minutes remained in the first half, when Ryan Gill complicated things for goalkeeper Glenford Chimilio with a backward pass instead of sharing the ball out to the sidelines. Chimilio could not pick up the ball, and hard pressed by Brandon Peyrefitte, Chimilio pushed Peyrefitte off the ball. For this the referee rightly awarded the Bandits a penalty. Deris Benavides converted with aplomb for a 1-0 lead going into intermission.
Bandits’ technical director Roy Sherrier Lewis introduced Jerome “Jaro” James into the game in the second half. The game was almost over when James put the game on ice with a second goal to seal the 2-0 win.
In other games around the league, the Police stunned Verdes FC of Benque Viejo 1-0 at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan on Saturday night, Harrison “Kafu” Roches scored the winning goal.