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Suva on roll

Manoj Kumar
Saturday, May 19, 2012

A MESMERISING performance, three points against highly-fancied Lautoka and a morale-boosting revelation รน it's all happening for Suva at the Vodafone Fiji FACT.

Goals from Joseph Mishra and Samuela Drudru stunned Lautoka 2-1 and what president Mahen Prasad said afterwards would bring a smile on the faces of Whites fans.

"Samu Kautoga is confirmed for the next transfer window (June)," Prasad said.

National rep Kautoga, with Amicale FC in Vanuatu, is keen on settling in Suva with his wife giving birth to their first child three weeks ago.

"Yes, I want to move to Suva and will do so in the next transfer window. For now though I respect my deal with my current employers and will see it out and would love to leave with their blessings," Kautoga said at Govind Park last night.

It comes as good news for the Whites who played simple football. Ten men behind the ball camped in their own half whenever the Blues had possession and only hit the opposition on the break.

"That was the tactic and it worked to perfection, especially when we have some speedy players upfront and we could hit them hard on the counter-attack," Singh said.

The Whites looked rock-solid at the back, minus two howlers from captain and goalkeeper Emori Ragata, and made the Blues back five look flimsy whenever they broke away and threatened.

Close friends Cedric Dutt and Joseph Mishra combined to stun the Blues early in the first half.

Dutt floated in a set-piece beauty into the box and nuggety Mishra somehow rose higher than the taller Lautoka defenders to power in a header off the crossbar.

The two mates were all smiles after the game.

Dutt, who was outstanding in the middle of the park, gave this reporter the thumbs up and asked "how was it?"

Next to him, Mishra, having bagged his third goal of the tournament, could not stop smiling.

Lautoka levelled after an error by Ragata that saw striker Valerio Nawatu prod into an empty net.

"I was furious with him (Ragata) but we hit back and all's good," smiled defender Simione Maikali, who had earlier cleared off the goal line following another Ragata blunder.

"It's OK son, don't worry. It's gone and forgotten, we won and that's all that matters," Prasad told Ragata after the game.

Suva, with two wins and a draw, plays Savusavu today and the Whites are tipped to qualify for the semi-finals tomorrow

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