TWO first half goals from Sailosi Livatalo helped Navua beat Nadroga 2-0 at home in Thompson Park yesterday.
The win was the first for the Southern team in the Fiji Sun/GP Batteries National Football League competition.
But the one thing that stood out in the match and both teams complained about was the ground conditions.
The match had to be started an hour late as Fiji Sports Council staff at the venue were requested to fill water logged patches with sand. Officials from both teams said their players could have been injured because of the poor ground conditions as some patches and areas still remained water logged.
Nadroga assistant coach Waisea Tale Snr said the Fiji Football Association should look into the matter. "If OHS officials were present they would have cancelled the game because of the ground conditions as players can get seriously injured in these conditions," Tale said.
"The Fiji Sports Council staff had advised the match officials to not go ahead with the match but the officials overruled that decision and told them to patch the ground and for the match to be played," he said.
"And then the match started at 4pm and went on until it was getting dark and it was very hard to see the ball in the darkness and Thompson Park has no lights at all." He said his players were not to be blamed for the loss.
Navua soccer technical advisor Ramesh Chandra echoed similar sentiments.
"Ground conditions killed the match," Chandra said.
"Both teams could have played a better game if the ground conditions were better and for my team, I think we could have scored more goals." But he said the win was a morale booster ahead of next week's opening round of Vodafone Fiji FACT matches at Lautoka's Churchill Park.
"This is a boost for us, getting our first win of the National League and now we will look towards the Fiji FACT," Chandra said.
* In Tavua, Ratu Josefa Dugucagi scored and Nadi beat Tavua 1-0.