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Vodafone Fiji FACT: Tamanisau, Verevou Star In Suva’s Win

The two teams failed to score after 120 minutes at Lautoka’s Churchill Park and the match was forced into penalties.
12 May 2019 12:02
Vodafone Fiji FACT: Tamanisau, Verevou Star In Suva’s Win
Suva striker Ratu Anare controls the ball against Ba during the Vodafone Fiji FACT semi-final at Churchill Park, Lautoka on May 11, 2019. Ba won 4-3 on penalty kicks. Photo: Fiji FA Media

Simione Tamanisau and Iosefo Verevou were the heroes for Suva as they beat Ba 4-3 on penalty kicks in the Vodafone Fiji FACT semi-final last night.

Veteran goalkeeper Tamanisau told SUNsports that it was all mind game as he blocked Malakai Tiwa’s penalty attempt.

“I guess I went to the right direction,” Tamanisau told SUNsports.

The former national football captain said the win was made possible because the players stuck to the game plan and they did what was wanted of them.

But it was Verevou who stepped up to slot in the win­ning goal.

Suva coach Saroj Kumar was in tears saying it was a hard game but his players stood to the test.

The no-nonsense coach dropped three key players days before the semi-final for disciplinary reasons.

The two teams failed to score after 120 minutes at Lautoka’s Churchill Park and the match was forced into penalties.

The match started cautiously but Suva slowly took control and was rewarded when striker Gagame Feni beat Ba’s offside trap to make it 1-0 in the 24th minute.

Midfielders Michael Boso and Iosefo Verevou had been trying to release Feni with quick early passes from the Solomon Islander was closely marked by Ili­motama Jese until the goal.

Ba went on the hunt for the equaliser, with Kaliova Dau and Saula Waqa forcing goalkeeper Emori Ra­gata into several good saves, but a goal never came as the half ended with Suva leading 1-0.

The second half began with Ba on the front foot, hit­ting Suva between the channels with the pace and di­rectness of Abbu Zahid, Mohammed Shazil and Dau.

The pressure took its toll when Tomasi Uculoa con­ceded a penalty after fouling lanky striker Saula Waqa from behind in the 46th minute, which Naren­dra Rao coolly finished.

Suva’s penalty kicks were scored by Kelvin Naidu, Feni, Shahil Dave and Verevou. Filipe Baravilala’s at­tempt missed.

For Ba it was Avinesh Suwamy and Manasa Nawakula who scored while Kishan Sami and Tiwa who missed.

Suva take on Nadi in the Vodafone Fiji FACT final today at 3pm

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: rohit.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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