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Labasa Women Claim IDC Crown

Labasa coach Simmons said: “We had to get our tactics spot on because Ba was the superior team and we had to respect that. “To win against them is a great feeling because just last year they thrashed us 10-0. I congratulate my girls and everyone involved in the team.”
04 Feb 2019 11:12
Labasa Women Claim IDC Crown

An emotional Arthur Simmons hailed his team’s tactical discipline as the Labasa football team claimed the Women Inter-District Championship title with a 2-0 win over Ba at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori  yesterday.

Ba came into the match as hot favorites – they were 10-0 victors the last time these two met- with few expecting Labasa to even put up a challenge.

But the northerners took a surprise lead mid-way into the first half after a defensive lapse allowed Sofi Diyalowai to get in behind the Ba backline.

Ba dominated proceedings thereafter but struggled to create anything meaningful in front of goal.

Labasa’s Stella Naivalulevu doubled their lead in the second half with a neat chip over Ba and national team goalkeeper Ateca Tuwai.

Ba’s free-scoring attackers, including national team forwards Luisa Tamanitoakula and Cema Nasau, were starved of chances by an organized Labasa defence.

Quick and incisive counter attacking play was a feature of Labasa’s game, as coach Simmons set out his team to try and tactically outmaneuver their opponents.

Simmons was content to absorb pressure for large parts of the match, instead choosing to rattle Ba with counter attacks that eventually proved the difference.

The coach’s tactics got further validation late on as Ba committed players forward in search of goals, leaving gaps for the Labasa attackers to run into.

This put pressure on the Ba defenders, forcing their attackers to retreat and help out in defence.

A red card early in the second to Sonali Rao, one of Ba’s more dominant attackers, gave Labasa the license to play with a bit more freedom.

But Simmons urged his players to maintain their tactical shape, wary of the wealth of attacking talent in Ba’s squad, including 14 national team players.

Nasau’s sending off for a reckless tackle late in the second half all but confirmed Labasa’s win.

 

Comments:

Labasa coach Simmons said: “We had to get our tactics spot on because Ba was the superior team and we had to respect that.

“To win against them is a great feeling because just last year they thrashed us 10-0. I congratulate my girls and everyone involved in the team.”

Ba team vice-president Merewai Turaganikeli said: “The better team won and congratulations to them.”

-Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback:  sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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