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Ba Soccer Team Manager Arvind Singh, Praises Tiwa In Ba Win

Ba dominated possession in the first-half, with their midfield trio of Abbu Zahid, Narendra Rao and captain Tiwa dictating the rhythm of the game. Tiwa was particularly influential, taking up a defensive role after Sami’s red card and yelling out instructions to his team throughout the match.
12 Feb 2019 10:46
Ba Soccer Team Manager Arvind Singh, Praises Tiwa In Ba Win
Ba's Malakai Tiwa (16) battles for possession against Madhwan Goundar during the Vodafone Premiere League in Suva on February 10, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Ba manager Arvind Singh praised the ‘leadership qualities’ of Malakai Tiwa as the westerners maintained their unbeaten run with a 1-0 win over Suva at the ANZ stadium yesterday.

The Vodafone Premier League fixture was settled with a goal by Saula Waqa 15 minutes from full-time, earning Ba three points ahead of the OFC Champions League later this month.

It took the westerners to the top of the table with 7 points after three games, while Suva sit on 7th with 3 points in as many matches.

Brothers Iosefo Verevou and Epeli Saukuru made their debut for Suva after switching over from Rewa last month.

Defender Ilimotama Jese also got his first start for Ba since moving from Nadi.

A red card to Ba’s Kishan Sami in the final 10 minutes set the platform for a nervy finish but Suva lacked the urgency to capitalise.

Suva coach Intiaz Khan, who was disappointed with the result, said his team needed time to gel after the arrival of 6 new players in the transfer window.

His record since taking up the position now stands at one win and two losses.

Ba dominated possession in the first-half, with their midfield trio of Abbu Zahid, Narendra Rao and captain Tiwa dictating the rhythm of the game.

Tiwa was particularly influential, taking up a defensive role after Sami’s red card and yelling out instructions to his team throughout the match.

But the westerners struggled to convert the possession into anything meaningful, though Suva’s lack of attacking quality helped Ba get away with it.

Suva endured a lot of criticism after their loss to minnows Tavua last week and had an opportunity to respond against a strong Ba.

Aside from from some good defending, there was little sign of improvement in the team.

Ba defender Manasa Nawakula was a rock at the back, and partly the reason Suva’s Solomon Island striker Gagame Feni stayed quiet for much of the match.

Apart from one Suva attempt in the 40th minute, forcing a save from Ba’s Misiwane Nairube, the match lacked excitement as the first-half ended scoreless.

Little changed in the second half as Ba pushed forward in search of that crucial goal, with Suva happy to sit back and soak up the pressure.

Suva’s goal was unthreatened for much of the match, until Zahid lifted a slick pass into the box for Waqa to finish past an unlucky Emori Ragata.

COMMENTS

Ba manager Arvind Singh said: “We are happy with the result and it’s a gives momentum going into the Champions League. “We will have to work on our finish a little bit more though and the coaches are aware of that.”

Suva coach Intiaz Khan said: “Ba is good team but the match was equal for majority of the match. They scored with the only chance they got so we were very unlucky. “This week, we will be working on our team’s finishing and a few things like the approach of our players before the next game.”

Edited by Osea Bola

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