Football

VPL: Lautoka FC Thump Nadi To Top Standings

Lautoka move to the top of the Vodafone Premier League standing
10 Feb 2020 10:12
VPL: Lautoka FC Thump Nadi To Top Standings
BLUES THUMP JACK’S NADI... Lautoka’s Samuel Gavo in control of the ball against Nadi during the Vodafone Premier League at Churchill Park in Lautoka on February 9, 2020. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The Poasa Bainivalu captained Lautoka football side will not rest on their laurels when they head into the pool games of the Oceania Football Champions League this week.

Lautoka coach Anand Sami said they would not be carried away by their massive 6-0 victory against Jack’s Nadi in the Vodafone Premier League at the Churchill Park in Lautoka yesterday.

“Yes, it’s a good send-off. We are prepared for the O-League,” Mr Sami said.

The win also helped them maintain their top position in the league standing.

In the OFC League, it will be different, they are prepared professionally where to win the ball and where to press tactically.

“Nadi, unfortunately, lost one player and they went down. We had medium press but from the time I told them to press high and quick.”

Nadi coach Kamal Swamy said: “Of course we will be having a soul-searching agenda. Our team lacked fitness missed training a lot. I have been telling them. That is wrong of them and they were not able to cope with the Lautoka football plays.

“We need to work on our fitness and we need to work with the ball. Those three players played well but our key players failed to function well.”

The Blues took the lead with a penalty after defender Josua Tawake made a handball in the box. Dave Radrigai scored the penalty in the 24 minutes.

Twenty-two minutes later Alex Saniel tiptoed the ball past goalie Vereti Dickson to hit the bottom left corner of the goal.

The Blues had the service of Samuela Gavo, Shivam Naidu, Zibraaz Shahib, Joela Bauivanua, Arami Manumanubai and nippy Edward Justin made his return since the Battle of the Giants last year due to suspension.

Halftime, Lautoka 2 – O Nadi.

Nadi suffered a blow when they were reduced to 10-man after defender Josua Tawake was flashed his second yellow card of the march. This time he fouled Saniel.

Navneel Nand extended the Blues goal on the scoresheet to lead 3-0.

Mohammed Shazil was the man of the moment after he scored a hat-trick in the second half in the 62nd, 71st and 83rd minute respectively.

Nadi had the inclusion of experienced reps in the likes of Rusiate Matererega, Napolioni Qasevakatini, Afraaz Ali, Vuniuni Tikomaimereke, Ashneel Kumar while Avinesh Warran Suwamy, Sakaraia Naisua made they debut from the first minute. Ritik Prakash came off the bench to debut towards the end of the match.

Lautoka departs for Vanuatu on Wednesday. The side is in Pool B alongside Malampa Revivors, (Vanuatu), Lae City (Papua New Guinea), Henderson Eels (Solomons Islands).

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