SPORTS

Nadi, Lautoka Draw In Night Match

The Anjinesh Prasad-coached Lautoka side came from be­hind to draw 2-2 with neighbors Nadi in the Digicel Premier League fixture at Prince Charles Park in Nadi on Thursday night.
06 May 2022 12:37
Nadi, Lautoka Draw In Night Match
Viti Water Flow Lautoka football team Antonio Tuivuna, 16, in control against Esy Kool Nadi’s Samuela Gavo during the Digicel Premier League encounter at Churchill Park in Lautoka on May 4, 2022. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The Anjinesh Prasad-coached Lautoka side came from be­hind to draw 2-2 with neighbors Nadi in the Digicel Premier League fixture at Prince Charles Park in Nadi on Thursday night.

The result has placed the Blues, the defending champion, in the fifth spot on the league point’s standings with 10 points from sev­en matches.

Nadi is in the fourth spot with 13 points from nine games so far this season.

What happened

Both teams did show classic football in the first half, with few chances at goal but the ball sailed over the crossbar.

All three Solomon Islanders were featured in this first match with a good crowd gathering to watch the battle.

Barrie William Limoki came off the bench for his debut for the Green Machine.

Half time: Lautoka 0-Nadi 0.

The host had a perfect start in the second half as it was short passes and moving forward.

Solomon International William Komasi opened the floodgates on his dream debut beating goalie Jo­ela Biuvanua.

A few minutes later, Nadi was in full control of the match, striker Rahul Krishna was brought down in the penalty box by Zibraaz Sa­hib.

Solomon import and striker Jaygrey Sipakana made no mis­takes in slotting his team’s sec­ond goal and sending the fans into frenzy.

The visitors had to change their formation, pushing one more play­er in the upfront and one more in the midfield to get the dividend. They played into the match and avoided their third consecutive defeat.

Finally, the Blues finally got on the scoring sheet after a corner from Sitiveni Cavuilagi.

A few minutes from full-time and a mistimed sliding tackle by Nadi rock defender Poasa Bainivalu on Sairusi Nalaubau inside the box earned Lautoka the perfect oppor­tunity to level the scores.

Sahib made no mistake from the spot, sending veteran goalie Vereti Dickson in the opposite direction.

Comments

Lautoka coach Anjinesh Prasad said, “Feels great you know, af­ter going down and coming back scoring two goals in Nadi’s home ground is tough. The message was clear.”

“We were down but kept pushing. So, we pushed high, we changed the formation. We need to focus on a key. We must score one goal, so the confidence level of the team was up. Morale up too and this would happened to equalize,” he said.

Nadi coach Kamal Swamy said, “It was a good game. Both teams were tough.

“Our team had a good game, and we had a lead, but silly mistakes led to a draw.

“Our boys lost their focus and let the other team into the game.

“We played long balls when we needed to do short passes.

“We have 13 points, and we can rake in the move-in. The fans should know that we did not play the full team.

“Expectations are very high but we have to always remain focused for the full 90 minutes.



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