SPORTS

Lautoka TIV End Six-Year Drought

"Impressively, the Blues who had lost their opening match on Fri­day (2-1 Hamilton) found a second breath of life from their second pool match and never looked back."
24 Apr 2019 10:08
Lautoka TIV End Six-Year Drought
Lautoka TIV players, officials and supporters celebrate after their 1-0 win over Nadi in final at Churchill Park, Lautoka on April 22, 2019. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The Zibraaz Sahib captained- Lautoka TIV side were crowned the 92nd Sangam IDC Super Premier champions after a 4-1 penalty shootout win over neighbours Nadi at Churchill Park, Lautoka on Monday night.

Lautoka ended a six-year drought as they last won in 2013 at the same venue.

Impressively, the Blues who had lost their opening match on Fri­day (2-1 Hamilton) found a second breath of life from their second pool match and never looked back.

Nadi were heading as favourites after a dominant display through­out the tournament only to fall short at the final hurdle.

Both teams headed for the dread­ed penalty shootout after locked 1-all at fulltime and two-spells of 10 minutes each of extra time.

Nippy Rahul Krishna opened the scoreboard for Nadi with a header and Praneel Naidu equalised for the home side.

Krishna had a golden opportu­nity in the second half to score the winner but he missed a clear sitter with the goalmouth at his mercy.

With five minutes remaining Nadi suffered a huge blow when striker Pratikesh Mairiappa was sent off for a late challenge on Edward Jo­seph.

From the penalty shootout, the Blues scored through Sahib, Muni Sivam,

Both teams headed for the dread­ed penalty shootout after locked 1-all at fulltime and two-spells of 10 minutes each of extra time.

Nippy Rahul Krishna opened the scoreboard for Nadi with a header and Praneel Naidu equalised for the home side.

Krishna had a golden opportu­nity in the second half to score the winner but he missed a clear sitter with the goalmouth at his mercy.

With five minutes remaining Nadi suffered a huge blow when striker Pratikesh Mairiappa was sent off for a late challenge on Edward Jo­seph.

From the penalty shootout, the Blues scored through Sahib, Muni Sivam, Praneel Naidu before vet­eran Sailesh ‘Bula’ Sami sealed the match.

Nadi scored through Avinesh Waran Suwamy but the two kick­ers after that missed.

Sahib said, “Nadi was a good side but our players played their hearts out and never lost hope even when we were a goal down. I was advised to select experienced players for the shootout and they did not dis­appoint.”

Nadi had the services of Chris­topher Kumar, Muni Munish, Ra­jnesh Nadan, Afraaz Ali, Ashneel Kumar, Ravneel Naidu, Dhiraj Ku­mar, and Shivan Gounder.

PREMIER

Saweni/ Dreketi won the Pre­mier division after beating Valley 1-0. Their lone goal came from the boots of Manish Khanna who re­ceived a cross from Ravi Kant. Ma­jority of the players were former student of Pt Vishnu Deo Memo­rial College.

Both teams have been promoted to the Super Premier while Nasinu TIV will host the 2020 edition in Suva.

RESULTS

Semifinals- Premier: Saweni/Dreketi 2-1 Tabicola, Valley 3-0 Varoko; Super Premier: Nadi 4-0 Botany, Lautoka 3-2 Hamilton.

Finals- Masters: Lautoka 1-0 Ma­nukau Masters

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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