DEFENDING champions Ba need to beat second-placed Suva in their next match to retain the Fiji Sun/GP Batteries National Football League title.
This is after the Men in Black downed third-placed Nadi 1-0 at Prince Charles Park on Friday night.
Avinesh Waran Swamy scored the lone goal via a penalty in the 54th minute.
Ba could have won by a higher margin but Tuimasi Manuca, Malakai Tiwa and Abbu Zahid failed to get the ball past Nadi goalkeeper Benaminio Mateinaqara from close range. Striker Uraia Loki and second-half replacement Ratu Veresa Toma were off target for the home team.
Ba coach Yogendra Dutt said the win was crucial in their bid to claim back-to-back NFL titles.
He said they should have won by a higher margin.
"It is a crucial win because when you play a good team away from home, then winning is an added advantage," Dutt said.
"I think it must have been the hunger to score and win that got to the boys and that is why a lot of opportunities were lost.
"We should have scored more goals with the number of penetrations we did inside the 18-yard box. At half-time, I told the boys that we need to attack and make the most of the 45 minutes or we would have to struggle in the remaining games.
"We decided to keep on attacking and that paid off with the penalty. Now we will take each game at a time. We will first have to see the outcome of the Suva game to see where we stand."
After a bright start, the home team seemed to back paddle towards the end of the first-half. In the second spell, Nadi went into defensive mode as Ba piled the pressure.
Nadi head coach Kamal Swamy said he and technical advisor Imdad Ali could not spend much time with the team as they were tied up with the Oceania C License course in Ba earlier in the week.
Swamy said Ba proved to be a formidable side.
"We had a coaching course in Ba where all the coaches had to attend," Swamy said.
"To develop team combinations you need to have coaches with the players during training. Ba is a formidable side. They are so well organised that they know what they are doing.
"In Nadi we need to be with the team all the time. But when the coaching course is in Ba and the game is on Friday, imagine how we could have built the combination.
"We could not and that is the end result. In the first-half, we were attacking but towards half-time and then basically in the second-half we were defending.
"This is because at training there was no one to guide them. We need to practice the game pattern. It was just hard luck that things did not fall into place. Congratulations to Ba as they are a great side."
Ba has won the NFL title on 17 previous occasions in 1977, 1979, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011.