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Goundar’s Big Moment

Goundar’s Big Moment
Samuela Kautoga of Rewa tussle for the ball against Ilisoni Loloivalu of Labasa. Photo:Jone Luvenitoga
June 18
11:06 2017

Midfielder Madhavan Goundar and goalkeeper Simione Tamanisau booked Rewa’s place in the final of the Vodafone Fiji FACT at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori yesterday.

Fans were treated to a spectacle as Rewa came out victorious after 120 minutes of football to beat Labasa 6-5 (1-1 at full time) in penalty shootouts.

While fans were at the edge of their seat, Goundar took the field to kick the last penalty for the Delta Tigers.

It was dejavu all over again for Goundar as it brought back memories of him missing a penalty kick when he played for Suva last year in the Fiji FACT.

To top it off, he had only arrived from Rakiraki hours before the game, after attending his aunt’s three-month prayer.

Goundar said he had never felt so much pressure in his life and could not focus properly but it was the backing of the fans that gave him confidence to take the kick.

“All the pressure was on me when I was asked to take the kick,” Goundar said.

“I knew that if I missed I would not only be letting my team mates down but I’d be letting the fans down as well.

“Standing there, I have never felt so much pressure in my life before but seeing the fans turn out in numbers supporting us, that gave me an extra boost of confidence and I just took the kick.

“I had a tough morning and it was hard for me to settle down. It was really difficult for me to play but I knew this was something I had to.”

While the crowd went wild after Goundar scored the last penalty, Tamanisau bowed down in prayer and was relieved.

The veteran goalkeeper saved three penalty kicks and the third one was crucial for Rewa.

He said standing on the side line while Rewa’s last penalty kick was being taken was the hardest thing for him to do and all he could do was pray.

“We missed a lot of chances but the coach mapped out some strategies for us to follow and that’s what we did. For me, to play a part as a goalkeeper to help us win and go through the final felt really good,” Tamanisau said.

“It was a tough moment for me, after saving that last goal from Labasa I was praying that our kick would go through.

“I don’t like that feeling of sitting on the side knowing there is nothing you can do and that’s what I was feeling when we took the last penalty kick, I couldn’t even look because that is how intense it was.

“This is such a proud moment for me and the boys and we look forward to the final.”

Rewa face Nadi in today’s final.

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