Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2022. 10:25 am CST.
Photo Credit: Concacaf
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Verdes celebrated effusively their 2-2 draw with Platense on Wednesday night at the Cuscatlán Stadium in San Salvador as they became the first Belizean team win a series and advance to a second round in the Scotiabank Concacaf League. By virtue of the away goals rule, the 2-2 draw was their ticket to the Round of 16. The first game finished 0-0 in Belize the previous week.
Despite giving up the 2-0 lead gained in the first half of the match, the Belizean champs made it to the next round on a smart and formidable game at the Cuscatlán.
The Green Machine took the lead in the first half on goals by Paraguayan Luis Ibarra in the 19’ and Mexican Edwin Villeda in the 38’.
Just past the first quarter of an hour, Luis Ibarra nailed goalkeeper José González with a power shot on the right side off a pass by Edwin Villeda who worked his way deep into the box on the left side. Eluding the defenders, Villeda crossed the ball to Ibarra. The Paraguayan finished the job perfectly putting the Green Machine ahead 2-0.
Platense had more breaks but again Verdes punished them in the 38’ when Player of the Match Villeda beat two defenders on the run cutting from the middle to the left deep into the box, flicking the ball to the right as González came out to cover. A superb goal and the Green Machine were up 2-0 in front of the disbelieving Salvadoran fans.
Finding themselves down and having to score three goals to get past Verdes, who held the advantage because of the away goals (Platense had not scored in Belize), Platense made a triple change at the beginning of the second half.
The move paid off as Platense got on the scoreboard in the 61’ through Jhon Machado who headed the ball past West off a corner kick.
Platense kept pushing and provoked a hand ball in the box and were awarded a penalty kick in the 83’. Jaime Ortiz stepped up and converted in the 84’, levelling the match at 2-2 despite West reading the play well and deflecting the ball.
Though the referee added six minutes of injury time, Verdes were able to stave off the Salvadorans in their own stadium in front of their own fans and made it to the next round of the regional championship.
Now, the Belizean champions will clash with Salvadoran champions Alianza in the next round. The first game will be on August 17 in Belmopan and the return on August 24 in San Salvador.
Head coach David Pérez again played all seven foreigners but made two changes giving Everal Trapp and Krisean Lopez starting roles instead of Jahron Myvette and Jesse August who didn’t make the bench. Woodrow West started in goal; Waldo Jiménez, Mario Narváez, Christian Ramírez, and Everal Trapp in defense; Darrel Myvett, Facundo Garnier, Camilo Márquez and Edwin Villeda in the middle; and Krisean Lopez and Luis Ibarra up front.
Charles Tillett, Jahron Myvette, Aaron Lopez, Jalen Lennan, Zion Ramos, Eldon Reneau, and Desmond Wade populated the bench.
Verdes sent in Jahron Myvette for Trapp in the 62’. They made two more changes in the 89: Eldon Reneau replaced Camilo Márquez, Aaron Lopez replaced Facundo Garnier. Jaylen Lennan subbed for Ibarra in the 90’.
Platense lined up José González in goal; Jaime Ortiz, Mario Martínez, Wilber Arizala, and Juan Barahona in defense; Helden Alfaro, Marvin Aranda, Juan Aimar, Carlos Anzora, and Melvin Alfaro in midfield; and Jhon Machado as forward.
Elvin Alvarado replaced Helden Alfaro, Denilson Rosales entered for Juan Barahona, and Brayan Díaz substituted Melvin Alfaro at the beginning of the second half. Wilmer Novoa subbed Aranda in the 62’, Brian Martínez replaced Anzora in the 68’.
Verdes: Luis Ibarra 21’, Villeda 66, Myvette 67’, Márquez 88’
Platense: Denilson Rosales 51’, Wilber Arizala 66’
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