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Big Reward For Blues

Big Reward For Blues
Lautoka football captain Ilaitia Tuilau (left) and Valerio Nawatu holds the Courts IDC Trophy as they are joined by officials and fans at Churchill Park, Lautoka on October 15, 2017. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
October 16
11:00 2017

Reserve goalkeeper becomes Blues saviour  in Courts IDC final


Design Engineering Lautoka reserve goalkeeper Senirusi Bokini pulled off two brilliant saves in a dramatic penalty shootout as they beat Ba 5-4 at the Courts Interdistrict Championshp premier final at Churchill Park, yesterday.

Lautoka FA president Abdul Kadar immediately announced that the players would share a total of $44,000. That is $22,000 from the winning prize and this is to be matched by the association.

The police officer sat out through the tournament and watched Beniamino Mateinaqara take Lautoka up to the final.

Spoting a cut under the chin which he received in the final, Mateinaqara injured his arm after conceding the second penalty against Ba. Bokini stepped-up to the mark and pulled off two brilliant saves from Malakai Rakula and Meli Codro’s attempt and sent the packed Churchill Park partisan crowd into frenzy.

“Bokini has always asked me when you will give me time to play,” Lautoka coach Kamal Swamy told SUNsports.

“I told him that he has to be patient and he will surely get a chance. He did it today. It was a tense game, we should not have conceded the goal which allowed Ba came back into action.”

What happened: The game had all the drama and this began in the 4th minute when Lautoka captain Ilaitia Tuilau was red-carded for a dangerous play on Saula Waqa. The 10-men Lautoka side grouped, changed strategies and took Ba head-on.

Against the odds, Lautoka swung into attack and in the 9th minute Samuela Drudru while dribbling into the penalty area was brought down by Codro. All eyes zeroed in on penalty specialist Zibraaz Sahib and he made no mistake with the spot kick putting Lautoka up 1-0.

Then it was Ba’s turn to face the music when in the 32nd minute Laisenia Raura was sent from the field for a rugby tackle on Drudru.

Ba upped the tempo and was nearly rewarded in the 42nd minute when a powerful drive with a deflection saw Mateinaqara pull of a wonderful save.

In the 54th minute Ba’s efforts paid off which saw Codro sent in a cross that drew Mateinaqara out of his goalmouth and allow skipper Abu Zahid to level the scores at 1-1.

Before the end of the second spell of extra time, Saula Waqa was red-carded for swinging Iliesa Lino to the ground.

Following two spells of extra time, the dreaded penalty shootout saw the Lautoka side cap off a wonderful season.

In the penalty shootout, Sahib, Josevata Dugucagi, Dave Radrigai and Christopher Wasasala scored while Avinesh Swamy, Maveliko Nakama and Manasa Nawakula made no mistake with their attempts.

Comment: Ba captain Abbu Zahid said, “It was a tough final, we missed a lot of chances. We went to the wire and that is what football is about.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua




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