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Naicker’s Strike Creates History

Naicker’s Strike Creates History
Dreketi team during the Vodafone Premier League match at Prince Charles Park in Nadi yesterday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA
April 25
08:09 2016

Playing frequent warmup matches with Labasa paid off for minnows Dreketi when they created history on Saturday night by winning their first Vodafone Premier League match.

Playing away from home the Thomas Steiner led-side pipped Nadroga 1-0 at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka.  Indiscipline by the Nadroga players added to more woes when they had to play with 10-men after Jone Navalawa copped the red card.

What Happened: Dreketi right link Kushal Naicker scored the lone goal two minutes into the match.  He drove the ball from a 40-yard free kick which sailed past Nadroga goalkeeper Parmesh Prasad.

Nadroga laced with experienced players of Krishneel Dutt, Gerard Voi, and Sireli Vosa dominated the match but poor finishing let them down. Backed by their fans, Nadroga applied pressure but the Dreketi defence led by goalkeeper Ronald Kumar held them back.  Kumar was the star when he pulled off several acrobatic saves to the disappointment of the home crowd.

It was in the 39th minute, Kumar was injured after he collided with one of the Nadroga strikers and was replaced by Shaneel Naidu.

Half time: Dreketi 1-0 Nadroga.

In the 53rd minute the nippy Navalawa was shown the red card by referee Sunil Narayan for a foul on Dreketi’s Shavneel Chand. Nadroga did not give-up as they fought hard trying to find the equaliser but this time substitute goalkeeper Naidu put on a man of the match performance.

Star turn: Dreketi goalkeepers  Kumar and substitute Naidu stood their ground and never gave Nadroga any chance to score.

Big plays: Nippy striker Apisai Sesewa played well for Dreketi but his size was a disadvantage at times.

Comments: Dreketi coach Arthur Simmons said, “This was our first win of the season, something we have been waiting for a long time. This is due to the dedication of the players during training but still there is a need for improvement.”

Nadroga FA coach Joseph Nand said, “We obviously disappointed as this was our own game. Dreketi came out firing with a different kind of approach that we cannot counter especially their physical approach. At the same time 10 players playing 11 upsets everything.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua


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