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Premier Champ

Premier Champ
Lautoka football players and fans celebrate after their 2-1 win over Suva and winning the Vodafone Premier League title on August 13, 2017. Photo: Charles Chambers
August 14
11:00 2017

Oceania Water Lautoka is the 2017 Vodafone Premier League champions.

The sugar city side staved off a well-polished Suva side with super sub Jone Vesikula breaking the deadlock for a 2-1 victory in front of close to 3000 fans at Churchill Park yesterday.

The man with the biggest smile was Lautoka Football Association president Abdul Kadar who, with his executives had sat at the beginning of the season and targeted to win the league and a spot in the OFC Champions League.

Suva had most of the play but lost possession at crucial moments which let the side down badly.

Despite already winning the league, Kadar said they need to win their two remaining matches against Ba and Rewa.

“I am proud of the boys and for me as president, this is one of the best moments in my life,”he said.

“We will not rest and it will be back to training Monday.”

Kadar said the next focus is the Courts Inter-District Championship in October and they would want a win in front of their home crowd.

Suva came to Churchill Park with the intention of winning the match and spoiling Lautoka’s party.

However, Lautoka rising star Siotama Kubu once again rose to the occasion when he blasted in a shot past Suva goalkeeper Tevita Koroi to put his side up 1-0 at halftime.

Suva came out in the second half more determined than ever and their effort paid off when Lautoka defender Kolinio Sivoki was penalised.  Kelvin Naidu scored from the penalty.

Veteran striker Valerio Nawatu was responsible for Lautoka’s winner after he took a short pass from a corner and sent a low cross in front of the Suva goalmouth.

Vesikula neatly headed the ball into the goal and gave Lautoka the league title they deserved.

Suva coach Pita Rabo was proud of his team.

“We lacked in the finishing but the boys stepped up to the mark. The loss was unfortunate but our focus now is on the IDC.”

Lautoka coach Kamal Swamy said the players played their best.

Edited by Osea Bola




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