Ba Need To Improve: Coach

A smartly-taken goal by midfielder Malakai Tiwa gave Ba the three points, but not before the Westerners had to soak up a spell of intense pressure
03 Feb 2020 13:39
Ba Need To Improve: Coach
Ba football team at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori on February 2, 2020. Photo: Sheldon Chanel

Ba football coach Roneel Kumar has urged his players to score more goals despite a 1-0 win over Rewa in the Vodafone Premier League clash at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori yesterday.

A smartly-taken goal by midfielder Malakai Tiwa gave Ba the three points, but not before the Westerners had to soak up a spell of intense pressure late on.

Rewa were reduced to 10 players in the 50th minute when striker Anish Khem was red-carded for a dangerous elbow to the face of Ba defender Simione Nabenu.

Losing Khem seemed to spring the rest of the team into action, with Setareki Hughes, Samuela Kautoga and Tevita Waranivalu all coming close to equalising.

Kumar said: “I’m a bit happy but not to the level we expect. We missed a lot of chances and should have scored two or three more goals.

“We played last week and lacked finishing and today it was not the performance I expected but I was satisfied with the win.”

Rewa head coach Marika Rodu refused to speak to the media after the loss.

The match was also marred by an injury to Ba’s Laisenia Raura, who collided with Rewa goalkeeper Simione Tamanisau and was stretchered off.

With Beniamino Mateinaqara also out injured, Ba have lost two of their three big signings to injuries.

The visitors won a penalty in the 22nd minute when Rewa defender Jale Dreloa slipped and fouled Ba forward Abbu Zahid.

Up stepped Raura but he was expertly denied by Tamanisau who stretched low to his left to save.

Raura scored from the rebound but the goal was disallowed after the defender was deemed to have fouled Tamanisau.

Familiar problems for Rewa

The loss means Rewa’s dismal record of three wins in their past fifteen VPL games has stretched to this season.

And the problems from last season also persisted here, despite the return of former player Rodu.

The Southerners had bursts of energy and flair here and there but were ultimately undone by naïve defending.

Rodu also played several players out of position, including striker Gabrieli Matanasiga at right back, midfielder Savenaca Baledrokadroka at centre back, forward Hughes at left back and striker Bruce Hughes in midfield.

Drudru’s struggles continue

Ba, on the other hand, lacked creativity in crucial positions.

Tiwa, recalled into the side after not featuring in the Pillay’s Garments Champion versus Champion series last week, was at the heart of Ba’s midfield and controlled play well.

But without the ball he lacked the legs to really impose himself and needed help from the players around him.

It was Ba’s defensive line that looked vulnerable in a 3-5-2 system that put immense pressure on the wingbacks.

Darold Kakasi toiled on the left, while striker Sanaila Waqanicakau looked uncomfortable at right wingback and did not have an impact.

Up front, the misfiring Samuela Drudru continues to divide opinion.

Drudrudru lacked good service here but squandered more than enough chances to put the game the bed.

He has now gone scoreless in his first three games for Ba.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua


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