Suva On Track For Semifinal Spot

26 Nov 2020 15:39
Suva On Track For Semifinal Spot
Suva defender Joeli Ranitu tries to pass the ball to Christopher Wasasala as Nadi defender Ame Votoniu comes in with the challenge during the Vodafone Fiji FACT at Subrail Park, Labasa, on November 25, 2020. Photo: Renu Radhika

The Vinz Work Suva side came from behind to beat Ezy Kool Nadi 3-2 in their Vodafone Fiji FACT clash at Subrail Park, Labasa, yesterday.

The win has pushed Suva closer to a semifinal spot as they recorded two wins in Group B and today they all need a draw against Lautoka to go through.

Leading the charge for Suva was striker Sairusi Nalaubu who scored two goals to secure the win against the defending champions.

Suva coach, Babs Khan, said: ‘’Back home we made our very own Subrail Park, at the Fiji FA academy, where the ground was soggy. We adapted here since we had been talking about it.”

Suva key defender Filipe Baravilala did not play and Khan indicated that it was all about game planning.

“We train all throughout the year, everybody is important, so if one is not there and that allows another player to step-up. It’s about being in a team, the rest of the guys who were sitting on the bench will start.”

What happened: Both teams started off strongly in the drizzle. However, in the 11th minute Nadi’s Shivneel Pillay slotted in the first goal.

With a goal down Suva played attacking football trying to score the equaliser but all their efforts were thwarted by the tough Nadi defence led by Ame Votoniu and goalkeeper Vereti Dickson.

In the 30th minute continuous pressure saw the Nadi defence buckled allowing Christopher Wasasala to drive home the equaliser.

Halftime: Suva 1-1 Nadi

Heavy downpour in the second half failed to dampen their spirit of the game.

Wasasala was injured in the 50th minute and was replaced by Emori Ragata.

Nalaubu headed in Suva’s second goal in the 54th minute. In the 57th minute Nalaubu stole the ball from a Nadi defender and blasted the ball to the back of the net.

Nadi never gave up and pulled a goal back in the 89th minute to Afraz Ali.

Comment: Nadi coach Kamal Swamy said: “We have a lot of young players coming in.

“It is a young side and they played right to the last whistle, Unfortunately we lost an early lead, but the soggy conditions did not allow us to play, because we are not used to it.

“Suva is a more experienced side and they knew what to do. But in the future, I know we will be a good team.”


Babasiga Lions triumph

Labasa scored a 3-0 win over Nasinu in the final Group A match last night.

The Babasiga Lions missed numeorus goal scoring opportinties as the match was played under sloppy conditions.

Nasinu almost took the lead in the 20th minute when striker Marlon Tahioa pounced on a loose ball but kicked it over the bar.

Veteran defender turned striker Taniela Waqa missed several chances with Nasinu goalkeeper Epeli Loaniceva to beat.

In the 39th minute a cross from Apenisa Anare found an unmarked Atonio Tuivuna who truned and kicked the ball to the back of the net.

The other goals came from Ilisoni Logaivau in the 59th minute and 17-year-old Melvin Mani.


Edited by Leone Cabenatabua


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