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Lions Upset Blues

Lions Upset Blues
Labasa players congratulate Edwin Shayam for his shot that led to the own goal by Lautoka defender Kolinio Sivoki during the Vodafone Premier League match at the Churchill Park in Lautoka yesterday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA
August 13
10:00 2018

Red card, missed penalty contribute to Lautoka’s downfall

The   Lautoka football team suffered their first loss in the Vodafone Premier League competition at Churchill Park, Lautoka yesterday.

The Kamal Swamy-coached side went down 2-0 to Labasa.

Labasa captain Iliesa Lino told SUNsports that they are proud of their achievement.

“Something might have gone wrong with Lautoka as on paper they are still that formidable team,” Lino said.

What happened: The hosts took the field determined to take their revenge loss against the Babasiga Lions for ousting them during the pool games of the Battle of the Giants tournament.

But the Northerners were prepared and held them back.

A counter attack in the 19th minute saw Labasa midfielder Edwin Shayam’s cross deflected off Lautoka central defender Kolinio Sivoki’s to the back of the net as goalkeeper Benamino Mateinaqara was caught by surprise.

This broke the hearts of the Blues fans who came in to watch as they anticipated another win.

Halftime: Labasa 1–0 Lautoka.

The game intensified as Lautoka put on the pressure looking to score the equaliser. Poor finishing was their downfall as they failed to penetrate the Labasa defence.

In the 75th minute Lautoka suffered a setback when striker Samuela Drudru was red-carded for making remarks at the referee Adriu Naisoroki.

Playing with 10-men Lautoka never gave up and got a penalty in the 80th minute after the ball hit Labasa defender Ilaisa Nayasi’s hand.

Stylish midfielder Zibraaz Sahib took the spot kick but his attempt was saved by Labasa goalkeeper Akuila Mateisuva.

But the Lions had the final say when striker Christopher Wasasala blasted the ball past a hapless Mateinaqara for their second goal.

Despite the loss, Lautoka still remain at the top of the points table table with 24 points, Suva are in second spot with 16 while Labasa are in third position with 15.

Star turn: Goalkeeper Mateisuva put on a man of the match performance. Saving the penalty was the turning point of the match.

Big play: Labasa defender Thomas Steiner and midfielder Edwin Shayam combination resulted in the first goal.

Comment: Labasa captain Lino said:

“We improved from the game against Nadi.We have ended Lautoka’s unbeaten run on their home ground which is amazing.”

Lautoka coach Swamy said: “Labasa was a better prepared side and we did not play according to the way we should be playing. It was terrible.

“The team that is more prepared must win. Every team wants to beat Lautoka in the league and there we go.

“I don’t know what happened in the ground which led to Drudru’s red card but we have to find that out.”


– Edited by Leone Cabenatabua






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