Posted: Sunday, December 1, 2019. 9:21 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Green Machine’s offensive juggernaut awoke at home this afternoon, steamrolling Altitude FC of Independence, 5-3 and 6-4 on aggregate.
Top scorer and expected golden boot winner Mariano Landero was back in the lineup for Verdes but hardly needed.
A frantic first half began with Andre Orosco scoring 3 minutes in. Verdes quickly responded with a penalty kick from Elroy Smith at 10 minutes and Krisean Lopez in the 19th.
Defender Everal Trapp sliced into his own net in the 32nd minute to send the game to halftime still finely poised at 2-2 on the day and 3-3 on aggregate.
But Verdes pulled away, Trimayne Harris goals bracketing Lopez’s second. Altitude were caught six times offside as they pressed to get back into the game. Elroy Coe finally scored seconds before stoppage time ended the game.
The stage is now set for an “El Clasico” final between Verdes and Belmopan Bandits. In the regular season, Verdes’ home game was played in Belmopan to a scoreless draw, but Verdes won the return at Isidoro Beaton Stadium to deny Bandits homefield advantage in the postseason.
Game 1 will be played in Belmopan and the return in San Ignacio. Unlike in the semifinals, away goals will not count so if there is a tie it goes to extra time and then a penalty shootout if necessary.
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