Not Enough Want
Arsenal finds itself and looses a chance at playing inDivision I

July 1st, 2007
by Thomas Tomczyk


A play in front of Savio's goal.

A play in front of Savio's goal.

On a hot Sunday afternoon, around 1,750 people bought Lps. 70 and Lps. 100 tickets to stand behind a chain link fence, an arms length away from their island football heroes. While Roatan stood on the brink of classifying to Hondura’s division I, they got plenty of drama.

After loosing 1:0 on May 27 in Santa Barbara, Arsenal found itself at home trying to at least win with a one-goal difference.

In minute 40 Arsenal’s Carlos Martinez received a red card for dangerous play and Arsenal found itself playing 10 on 11. Things seemed like they were getting better for Roatan when in minute 70, Savio’s goalkeeper, number 13 Elmer Canales, received a second yellow and red card for purposeful delay of game.

The stadium turned into a pandemonium. Arsenal fans banged the corrugated roof of their stands as reserve players and police run onto the field. While Canales refused to leave the field, arguments broke out and Savio’s bench threw accusations at the game’s referee- Ricardo Zelaya. It was 10 minutes before the game resumed.

Still, Arsenal could not play in unison and any rhythm that the team had playing with one-man less evaporated. The French Cay team limited itself to “center and jump” type of plays hoping for a lucky break. That break never came and after a lucky post saved Savio, it was only the referee’s delay in blowing the final whistle that kept Savio from picking up the trophy.

Again, like three month before, Arsenal found itself one goal from forcing an overtime with the Santa Barbara team. Again, Arsenal fell short. “We were a better team, but refereeing could be done much better,” said Victor Lopez, Savio’s treasurer.

Savio is not a novice to division I and II. The Copan team has a 32-year history and 18 of these years it spent playing in division II. In 2001 and 2002, Deportes Savio qualified to play in division I.

Savio just wanted to advance more and maybe the loss was a blessing in disguise to the young Roatan team. They have another year to prepare to enter into division I: to build a stadium, organize their fan support, etc. [/private]

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