Football

Labasa FC Coach Tells How Labasa Won The Courts Inter District Championship 2019

Solomon Islands Dennis Ifunaoa was the toast for the Babasiga Lions scoring in extra time as they beat Suva 1-0 at Prince Charles Park in Nadi.
14 Oct 2019 11:27
Labasa FC Coach Tells How Labasa Won The Courts Inter District Championship 2019
Labasa football team celebrates their first goal against Suva in the Courts IDC at the Prince Charles Park in Nadi last night. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

The Akuila Mateisuva captained- Labasa football side won their first Courts Inter District Championship title on Western soil, last night.

Solomon Islands Dennis Ifunaoa was the toast for the Babasiga Lions scoring in extra time as they beat Suva 1-0 at Prince Charles Park in Nadi.

The Solomon Islander who came as a substitute struck the ball from the corner and the ball zoomed into the back of the net in the first minute of extra time, which sent the Babasiga Lions fans into a frenzy.

Suva suffered a blow when veteran goalie Simione Tamanisau was stretched off after injuring his knee in an aerial battle.

He was replaced by Emori Ragata but the Ifunaoa strike gave him no chance at all.

Jubilant Labasa coach Ronil Lal said they have finally broken the winless IDC jinx of winning on Western soil.

“Time to celebrate means a lot to me to guide the team to victory for the second time this year,” he said.

“This win is the highlight of my coaching career.”

Lal said as a coach he needs to know the calibre of every player but Ifunaoa is a player who comes out firing when others are tiring out.

“That was our strategy as we worked around him. We do a lot of ball work where we try to keep possession.

“We tightened our defence and went into five, four one pattern. We crowded the midfield and that is where Suva started to play from the outside but we stood our ground. “The weather wasn’t on anyone side but we got the win. We will like to have a tournament at Subrail Park after the upgrade works.”

The win saw Labasa claim the IDC title for the fifth time. They also walked away with $25,000 while Suva pocketed $6000 for their effort.

The Lions also won the INKK Mobile Battle of the Giants in August.

Premier Division Awards

  • Golden Boot Award- Christopher Wasasala (Suva)
  • Golden Ball Award- Antonio Tuivuna (Labasa)
  • Fair Play Team  Award- Suva
  • New Find- Melvin Reddy (Labasa)

Edited Leone Cabenatabua

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