SPORTS

Lions Survive Test

Red card, backed by 3000 fans, Labasa held on to grab a point.
07 Mar 2021 09:41
Lions Survive Test
Labasa defender Ilisoni Lolaivalu (11) attempts to head in a cross as Ba goalkeeper Saula Waqanicakau watches on at Subrail Park, Labasa, on March 6, 2021. Photo: Laisa Lui

The Labasa football team played with 10-men as they escaped with a 0-0 draw against a strong Ba side in the Digicel Premier League clash at Subrail Park, Labasa, yesterday.

Playing in front of more than 3000 spectators, Labasa defender Sitiveni Rakai copped a red card on injury time for a professional foul on Ba striker, Samuela Drudru.

Labasa coach Ravnil Pratap said although the red card was unfortunate but it was part of the game.

“Players sometimes get carried away in the game but then we have to go back and improve as individuals,” he said.

“It is part and partial of the game and we have to expect such situations. Nevertheless, the (Babasiga) Lions are content with a point.”

What happened: Backed by the vocal crowd Labasa started strongly and came close to scoring a couple of times.

Ba goalkeeper, Sanaila Waqanicakau worked overtime in making spectacular saves.

The strong Ba defence kept Labasa strikers Marlon Tahioa, Siotame Kubu and Jone Naraba at bay.

In the second half, veteran Taniela Waqa came in to replace Tahioa while Ba sent in Malakai Tiwa to replace newcomer Etonia Qoqolou.

Ba settled down with Abbu Zahid spearheading their attacking moves but the Labasa defence of Akuila Mateisuva and Lino Iliesa kept them out.

Comments: Ba coach Kamal Swamy said: “It was very tough to come and play against Labasa

“Getting one point is a bonus for us compared to our previous games in Labasa where we have always lost.

“So far, we have played so many friendlies and everything looks positive with the system that we’re using.

“We’ve to improve on a few aspects like our transition to attack while we’ve improved on our defence. This had been our weakness.”

Labasa coach Pratap said: “They always play for a win when it’s a home game.

“We’ve to regroup and work on our finishing for the next game.”

Line-up

Labasa- Akuila Mateisuva, Lino Iliesa, Sitiveni Rakai, Sekove Naivakananumi, Marlon Tahioa (Taniela Waqa), Siotame Kubu (Ilaisa Nayasi), Jone Naraba, Ilisoni Lolaivalu, Ashnil Raju (Apenisa Anare), Ilisoni Tuinawainunu, Akeimi Ralulu

Ba- Sanaila Waqanicakau, Ilimotama Jese, Jonetani Newa (Jone Vesikula), Narend Rao (Nimesh Padarath), Abbu Zahid, Kalaveti Sivoi, Aaksh Sharma, Shameel Rao, Samuela Drudru, Etonia Qoqolou (Malakai Tiwa), Darold Kakasi.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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