Swamy: We Should Have Played Final

Lautoka coach Kamal Swamy said: “The two teams played like it was a formality match.
13 May 2019 12:09
Swamy: We Should Have Played Final
Action from the Ba vs Lautoka third-place play-off match during the Vodafone Fiji FACT at Churchill Park in Lautoka on May 12, 2019. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The Design Engineering Lau­toka side finished third in the 2019 Vodafone Fiji FACT after edging Ba 4-3 at Churchill Park in Lautoka yesterday.

Both teams were earlier tipped as favourites to reach the final but were eliminated from the main competition by Nadi and Suva re­spectively.

Lautoka striker and captain Samuela Drudru opened the scor­ing before Ba defender Manasa Nawakula equalised from the pen­alty spot.

The Men in Black then took the lead through Saula Waqa after breaking through the left flank.

Halftime: Ba 2-1 Lautoka

Ba had the services of goalkeeper Atunaisa Naucukidi, Sitiveni Ca­vuilagi, Kalaveti Sivoi, Kaliova Dau, Darold Kakasi, Ilimotama Jese, Malakai Rakula, Malakai Tiwa and Patrick Sarwan.

Lautoka had the services of Be­niamino Mateinaqara, Zibraaz Sahib, Poasa Bainivalu, Jone Vesi­kula, Dave Radrigai, Benjamin To­tori, Samuela Nabenia, and Sekove Finau.

Lautoka defender Kavaia Rawaqa leveled the scores minutes into the second half as the host team upped the intensity.

Sairusi Nalaubu then got his name on the scoresheet for Lau­toka , giving them a 3-2 lead, before Navneel Nand came off the bench to make it 4-2.

Ba striker Sanaila Waqanicakau scored a consolation goal from a beautiful free-kick as the match ended 4-3.

The win earned Lautoka $3000, while Ba took home $1000.


Lautoka coach Kamal Swamy said: “The two teams played like it was a formality match.

“They displayed good football but the pace was very slow. Because both teams know that we are the only two teams that haven’t met in the first round of the Vodafone Premier League. So both teams did not want to show what all they have to offer.

“Both teams played possession football. But I think both teams had capability to play better foot­ball and should have been in the final unfortunately they lost in the semi-finals as luck was not on our side.”

Ba coach Shalend Lal said: “Dur­ing the tournament, we did lack in the finishing area. Same story in this match but this has been a good lesson for us as we need to focus on towards the remainder of the league. It is important to have a good finishing as well.”

-Edited by Sheldon Chanel



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