10-Man Suva Triumph
Suva was more composed in the second half defending well and improving on attacks
Suva fought back with 10 men to beat Rewa 2-1 with both goals scored by Rusiate Matarerega in the first round of the Vodafone Premier League at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori yesterday.
What happened: Rewa got off to a good start as Suva found it hard to settle down.
Suva’s Shahil Dave had a chance to score the first goal from a freekick but was way off the mark.
Rewa’s Jone Kaloutani, Savenaca Nakalevu, Iosefo Verevou, Setareki Hughes and Tevita Waranaivalu made several attempts but could not find the mark.
But persistence and hard work paid off for Rewa as Verevou drew first blood before halftime.
Halftime: Rewa 1-0 Suva
Suva was more composed in the second-half defending well and improving on their attack.
A break finally came through for Suva as Rusiate Matarerega equalised from a penalty kick, 1-1.
Rewa began to show signs of fatigue as Suva took advantage and applied pressure.
Poasa Bainivalu copped himself a red card for a dangerous tackle which reduced Suva to 10-man.
Rewa failed to take advantage of the disadvantage resulting in Matarerega scoring his second goal sealing Suva’s first win, 2-1.
Big Play: Rewa’s Iosefo Verevou and goalkeeper Benito Waqavou played well in the first half.
Star Turn: Matarerega delivered when needed and a key player for Suva.
Rewa coach Marika Rodu said: “We played well in the first-half but we lost focus in the second-half.
“Even though Suva got a red card, we failed to utilise their shortfall. We have been playing long enough to know that there is no excuse for coming out second best. Suva was a better team as we basically failed today.”
Suva Coach Gurjit Singh said: “We did not do so well in the first-half, we let Rewa have most of the possession.
“It was worrying playing with 10 men but the boys stepped and listened to what I told them at halftime which was to apply pressure.
We saw that Rewa was burning a lot of energy in the first-half and I knew that they would be tired so I told the boys to apply pressure.” Edited by Osea Bola