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Premier League final clash between rivals Belmopan Bandits and Verdes

Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2019. 3:21 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Sports in the modern era are defined by rivalries – between teams, between individuals, sometimes both.

The Boston Red Sox have the New York Yankees. Liverpool FC has Manchester United. Barcelona has Real Madrid. The Los Angeles Lakers have the Boston Celtics.

Here in Belizean football, at least in the last few years, that league-defining rivalry has been Verdes of San Ignacio versus the Belmopan Bandits.

It is the district capital versus the national capital; best offense versus best defense; youthful exuberance versus sober experience; the two best goalkeepers in the nation; number one versus number two in the opening season standings.

“The Green Machine” are older as a sporting club, but Bandits have ruled the league since their inception. They have played in four of the last five CONCACAF team competitions Belize was represented in (CONCACAF Champions League and CONCACAF League) as Belize’s champions.

Verdes’s strike force of Mariano Landero and Krisean Lopez are matched by Georgie Welcome, Nahjib Guerra, and others. Bandits’ defense is as stingy as Verdes is free-scoring.

Their first regular-season encounter was a scoreless draw played in Belmopan close to Independence Day. Their second in early November was a blowout at Isidoro Beaton that secured home-field advantage if, as happened, Bandits beat San Pedro Pirates and Verdes beat Altitude.

With last week’s 1-1 stalemate leaving all to play for, the stage is set for the biggest game of the season. Kickoff is at 3:30 and BBN will provide halftime and full-time updates live from the Norman Broaster Stadium. See you there!


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