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Hard To Predict CvC: Yusuf

  The first trophy at stake in the new football season will see a clash between the new and the old of Fijian football. Arch-rivals Lautoka and Ba will battle
30 Nov 2018 10:28
Hard To Predict CvC: Yusuf
Pillay Garments managing director Narendra Pillay and Fiji Football Association chief executive officer Mohammed Yusuf during a press conference in Suva on November 29, 2018. Photo: Sheldon Chanel

 

The first trophy at stake in the new football season will see a clash between the new and the old of Fijian football.

Arch-rivals Lautoka and Ba will battle today in the first leg of the Pillay’s Garments Champion versus Champion Series at Churchill Park, Lautoka

Traditionally, Ba has dominated local football. But the team’s glory days are well behind them as they struggled to find good form last season.

Lautoka have forced their way to the top in recent years, quickly becoming one of the most consistent sides in country, with trophies aplenty and regular O-League appearances.

Pillay Garments will sponsor the CvC series for $26,000 with the winner taking home $5000, while the runners-up will get 2500.

The series will be played over a home and away legs at Churchill Park. The away goals rule will apply if there is a draw on aggregate at the end of the series.

Ba will be the home team in the second match on Sunday, with Govind Park still under construction after sustaining damage during recent bad weather.

“It’s a tough match to predict,” said Fiji FA chief executive officer Mohammed Yusuf.

“Ba has won most of the CVC titles while Lautoka are a very consistent side coming on the back off a Pacific Cup win.”

Kamal Swamy’s Lautoka, as winners of the Vodafone Premier League (VPL), enter the series as firm favourites.

The Westerners also won the 2018 Courts Inter-District Championship and the Pacific Cup in Australia.

Ba, on the other hand, failed to beat Lautoka on four occasions last season.

The Ronil Kumar-coached side were second best in the VPL and the one loss during Ba’s 2018 INKK Mobile Battle of the Giants triumph came at the hands of Lautoka.

Both teams will represent Fiji at next year’s Oceania Champions League.

Since 1993, Ba has won the CVC 18 times, while Lautoka has managed just a single victory.

The Westerners will meet in the tournament for the first time since 2010, when Lautoka took out a three-team series that also included Navua.

– Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback:  sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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