SPORTS

Tiwa Strikes

Ba football captain Malakai Tiwa scored right on fulltime as they escaped with a 1-1 draw in their OFC Champions League opener against Hienghene Sports in Kone, New Caledonia on
28 Feb 2017 11:28
Tiwa Strikes

Ba football captain Malakai Tiwa scored right on fulltime as they escaped with a 1-1 draw in their OFC Champions League opener against Hienghene Sports in Kone, New Caledonia on Sunday night.

The clash was played at a frantic pace for most of the 90 minutes. The hosts took the lead through a Bertrand Kai penalty in the 70th minute after a Ba defender handled the ball in the penalty spot. The Fijians did not lose hope but fought back gallantly before Tiwa blasted in the equaliser just as regulation time was up.

Ba coach Imdad Ali told OFC Media that he had never given up hope on the equaliser.

“The boys were always pounding at the goal, so we knew it was going to come,” he said.

“It came a little bit late but it came and we’re happy. It was a good result and the boys played very well.

It was great fast-paced football and I’m pretty happy with the performance of the boys.”

Having got their nose in front, Hienghène Sport coach Felix Tagawa was clearly disappointed to let the win slip through their grasp.

“In the first half there were a few occasions when either side could have scored but the second half I thought was more Hienghene’s half. If I look just at their performance particularly in the second half then it’s not a fair result.”

In another pool clash, top seed Team Wellington survived an early scare after they trailed Puaikura of Tonga 1-0. The Kiwis regrouped and ran away with a 4-1 win.

Tomorrow is an important clash for Ba as they must beat Puaikura on a big scoreline to stand a chance of qualifying to the play-offs. In a thriller, Hienghene Sports will be out to upset Team Wellington in front of their fans.

 

DELTA TIGERS

The Rewa football side fly out to Auckland, New Zealand today to finalise their preparations for the OFC Champions League.

Rewa technical adviser Gurjit Singh said they would be in Auckland for nine days with build-up games being arranged.

“We have completed our training session here and playing a few games in Auckland is going to test us. We will try to work on our weaknesses and other aspects of our game,” he said.

Singh congratulated Ba on their 1-1 draw against Hienghene Sports in their pool opener.

“Ba have got another two games coming up and they should be able to do well since they have prepared well too. So, we the Fiji soccer fans would love to see both the Fiji teams qualifying for the semi-finals,” Singh added.

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