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Waisea Nasokia: Crucial CvC Clash Today

The 0-0 draw at Lautoka’s Churchill Park on Friday night means the stakes for the return leg at 3pm at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori is much higher.
26 Jan 2020 11:40
Waisea Nasokia: Crucial CvC Clash Today
Ba football team (Front: left-right) Benjamini Totori, Darold Kakasi, Abbu Zahid, Ilimotama Jese, Kishan Sami. (Back; left-right) Malakai Rakula, Samuela Drudru, Praneel Naidu, Micah Tommy, Laisenia Raura, Beniamino Mateinaqara at Churchill Park, Lautoka on January 24, 2020. Photo: Fiji FA Media

Ba and Labasa left a lot to be desired in the first leg of the Pillay’s Garment Champion versus Champion Series and both teams have to improve in today’s second clash.

The 0-0 draw at Lautoka’s Churchill Park on Friday night means the stakes for the return leg at 3pm at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori is much higher.

Ba, the defending champions and favourites, struggled in front of goal.

Finishing was a problem for the Westerners in 2019 and there was no sign of improvement, despite the signing of Lautoka strikers Samuela Drudru and Benjamin Totori.

Both forwards were culpable of missing easy chances, while Drudru had a goal disallowed and shot wide from inside the six-yard box.

Labasa’s strategy was to remain compact and hit Ba on the counter.

It was a strategy that has served head coach Ronil Lal well in the past but only worked sparingly here.

The Northerners will have to do more to test Ba’s goalkeeper Beniamino Mateinaqara in the return leg which they are hosting or risk being overwhelmed at the back.

Ba also introduced other big signing in Mateinaqara, and defender Laisenia Raura making his return from Suva.

Labasa retained the core of their players from last season with Anare Apenisa from Suva the only new inclusion.

PLAYER RATINGS

Ba

  • Beniamino Mateinaqara– Rarely tested but did well when called upon in his debut and distributed the ball well. Was substituted late into the game on a leg injury: 8/10
  • Ilimotama Jese- Cool under pressure and dictated play well from the back: 7/10.
  • Malakai Rakula- Missed what was arguably the easiest goal scoring. Crossed the ball well but lacks the finishing touches to be an attacker: 6/10.
  • Praneel Naidu- A largely anonymous display. Replaced by Avinesh Suwamy in the second-half: 4/10.
  • Micah Tommy– Brought energy but struggled with his ball control. Can do better: 5/10.
  • Laisenia Raura- Did well on his return. Needs to be involved more given his experience: 5/10.
  • Darold Kakasi- Seemed to be trying to hard rather than focussing on getting the basics right: 4/10.
  • Abbu Zahid- Worked hard behind the strikers but should be scoring more goals: 7 /10.
  • Kishan Sami- Nothing spectacular from the young defender but did what was asked of him: 5/10.
  • Samuela Drudru- A debut to forget. Brought in to solve the team’s finishing woes but failed to spark in an important game: 5/10.
  • Benjamin Totori- A marked man but still put in a good shift. Needs more games before he can start combining with the team better: 6/ 10.

Labasa

  • Akuila Mateisuva- A solid performance by one of the best goalkeepers in the country: 9/10.
  • Iliesa Lino- Strong in defence, giving the Ba attackers little time to think with his aggressive tackling: 8/10.
  • Ashnil Raju- A brave performance by the nippy forward: 7/10.
  • Siotame Kubu- He gave his all but knows he should have done better in a midfield role from his preferred striker’s position: 7/10.
  • Ilisoni Lolaivalu- Had a quiet game but his contribution in defence were more notable than his attacking display.:6 /10.
  • Ravinesh Karan Singh- An average showing and perhaps the weak link in midfield and Ba tried to exploit that: 5/10.
  • Anare Apenisa- Lacked match sharpness and seemed to lose concentration as the match went on: 4/ 10.
  • Akeimi Ralulu- Worked hard but left isolated by his team-mates as Ba flooded the midfield: 5/10.
  • Ilisoni Logaivau- Showed a glimpse of what he is capable of with deft touches on the left side of midfield. Needs to improve on his crossing: 6/10
  • Antonio Tuivuna- Was influential in attack and defence. His versatility is the reason Labasa fought so hard to retain him: 7/10.
  • Taniela Waqa- Was involved in almost all phases of play and was Labasa’s best player on the night: 7/10.

Edited by Sheldon Chanel

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