Football

Suva’s First CvC Win Campaign Starts Tonight

In an earlier interview Suva coach Khan said they need to play a structured game against the Babasiga Lions.
19 Feb 2021 14:05
Suva’s First CvC Win Campaign Starts Tonight
Suva midfielder Shahil Dave (front), will play an important rolein tonight’s clash. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Suva football team are tipped to become the first Southern team to win the Pillay Garment’s Champion Versus Champion Series.

The Babs Khan-coached Whites start their campaign at 7pm today when they face Labasa at the ANZ Stadium, Suva.

Suva qualified for the CvC Series after winning the 2020 Vodafone Premier League while Labasa took out the 2020 Courts Inter-District Championship.

In an earlier interview Suva coach Khan said they need to play a structured game against the Babasiga Lions.

“We’ve to sharpen our game,” he said.

“Labasa play enterprising football and if we give them an inch they’ll take a mile and win.”

A setback for Suva, is the absence of star striker, Sairusi Nalaubu.

Nalaubu was the top goal scorer during the VPL and the Vodafone Fiji FACT, where Suva also won.

This could leave his striking partner Christopher Wasasala to combine with Iosefo Verevou or co-captain Ravinesh Karan Singh.

Suva have lost first choice goalkeeper Beniamino Mateinaqara who has moved to Lautoka.

This has given room for former Fijian Under-20 goalkeeper Atunaisa Naucukidi and veteran Emori Ragata to fight for the spot.

On the brighter side, Suva’s new recruit Ramzan Khan could get his first run against Labasa.

Struggling Lions

Meanwhile, the Labasa football side are coming over without head coach Ronil Lal who recently resigned.

Instead, his assistant Ravnil Pratap has stepped up to be the interim coach.

He indicated despite being badly affected by Tropical Cyclones Yasa and Ana, the players have been taking training.

Pratap said they are things as they come and are not going to make any predictions.

Labasa are the defending CvC champions.

The Northerners have managed to keep defender Antonio Tuivuna after his transfer application to Ba was denied by Fiji FA.

But he is likely not to play in the Series since he has not been training with the side.

Labasa are likely to field former Rewa defender Taione Kerevanua.

“I would like to request all Labasa supporters in Suva to be at the ground to back up the team,” Pratap said.

“We need a lot of support as Vanua Levu was destroyed by the two cyclones but the players have struggled to come over and play for the people who were affected.”

Pratap said their aim is to give their best performance. The return clash is played on Sunday at the same venue at 3pm.

 


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