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Suva Thump Labasa

Suva Thump Labasa
Suva's Filipe Baravilala celebrate his fourth goal . Photo: Ronald KUmar.
October 10
10:21 2018

Lincoln Refrigeration Suva smashed in four unanswered goals past a disappointing A1 Signs Labasa side to win 4-0 last night to set up a clash with Lautoka in today’s Courts Inter-District Championship grand final.

The much-anticipated clash at Suva’s ANZ Stadium was a nervous affair between two teams that hate losing to each other.

Suva coach Gurjit Singh abandoned the defensive approach he likes to take in big games and told his players to take no prisoners in attack from the start.

Striker Bruce Hughes got Suva’s first goal, pouncing on a rebound in the 16th minute from a Napolioni Qasevakatini free kick that came back off the post.

The goal lifted the anxiety from the minds of Suva fans, who had watched Labasa come out on top of the tournament’s tougher group.

They were made to wait only a minute longer for the second goal.

This time, Qasevakatini raced into Labasa’s box and unleashed a shot that forced a save out of Akuila Mateisuva.

But Labasa’s goalkeeper had no chance with the rebound that Qase­vakatani blasted into the roof of the net.

Labasa were first to come out of the dressing room in the second half as coach Johan Leewai demanded a reaction from his players.

But little changed.

Qasevakatini found himself in a one-on-one situation when he picked beat defender Iliesa Lino in the 52nd minute. Having scored and cre­ated one already, he unselfishly laid it off for Hughes who tapped in to make it 3-0.

Defender Filipe Baravilala added the fourth goal, 12 minutes from fulltime with a shot from outside the box that Mateisuva had little chance of saving.

Suva’s experienced back three of Laisenia Raura, Remueru Tekiata and Jacky Ruben gave coach Singh the freedom to pressure Labasa higher up the pitch.

A similar strategy might be used against Lautoka today.

“The plan today was to pressure Labasa into making mistakes and it worked for us,” Singh said.

“The biggest strength of my team is that I have a very strong bench; it is something we did not have at the last tournament.”

Labasa missed a glorious chance to reduce the deficit in the 37th minute when Vilitati Kautoga’s low cross from the left side of the box fooled the Suva defence and fell at the feet of Christopher Wasasala who could not control the ball,

Edited by Osea Bola


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