A TACTICAL change by coach Lambert Sarju saw Lautoka bounce back in the second spell to beat Navua 3-1 in the first round of the Inkk Mobile Battle of the Giants (BOG) at Subrail Park in Labasa yesterday.
Lautoka was down 0-1 following the Inia Boko goal in the opening spell but Sarju brought in Isikeli Jeke Keli, who scored a hat-trick to give his side a good start to their BOG campaign.
"We opted for a different pattern in the second half where we started coming in through with cross balls because I saw when we lost possession, Navua started doing zonal marking from the half ground," Sarju said.
"I told the boys, 'you need to go through the flanks and come in with the crosses' and we made a tactical change where we brought Isikeli Jeke to go in through with the headers."
The Lautoka-born Keli left the side to join Nadroga after not getting enough game time with the Westerners.
He came back to his home district in the July transfer window and sparked in his first match for Lautoka.
"During the half time, when we were down by a goal, I told the boys that we still got 45 minutes left and they did not need to panic," Sarju said. Navua seemed to have lost the power in the second spell as their defence opened up allowing Keli to come in with clear headings.
"Our weakness is on the backline. First half, we did well but in the second half we couldn't contain them," Navua president Gopal Naidu said.
The southern minnows are hoping to secure Esala Ali and Seveci Rokotakala before the remaining rounds this Thursday.