IMPORT Wira Wama turned on the magic in the final five minutes to guide Labasa to an unlikely 2-1 victory over a gritty Tavua outfit to keep their Courts Inter District Championship title defence alive.
The Babasiga Lions looked dead and buried when Ravinesh Chand netted in the 50th minute however the Papua New Guinea recruit proved to be the difference at the end.
Labasa coach Bal Sanju Reddy breathed a sigh of relief securing the crucial three points after going down 1-3 to Navua in a shock loss in the opening round.
Reddy said he did not lose confidence in his players when Tavua scored.
He said Wama's pressurising play in the final moments proved to be the difference.
"I'm very happy that we made a comeback," Reddy said.
"The three points is very crucial for us. I had confidence that they would deliver because they have the capabilities."
"But I think again they took the opposition lightly. They thought Tavua would be easy beats. We have two matches to go."
"The boys will need to be better focused as that will pave the way to defend the cup. I know that the fans were very disappointed with the loss to Navua. That was not expected."
"Today we were down but pulled back.
"This is a tournament and every team has come in with the same mission. So it is always tough."
Chand stunned replacement Labasa goalkeeper Shamal Kumar in the 50th minute with a neat finish.
However after scoring the goal the westerners fell back in defence allowing Labasa to pile on the pressure.
Wama's cross was timely nodded in by Vikrant Chandra to level.
Labasa went straight into attack again and Ilisoni Logaivou powered in the winner.
Tavua coach Saroj Kumar seemed to be stunned by the late strikes.
"We let it slip in the end and we cannot say anything more," Kumar stated.
"We will now focus on the next matches."
Labasa will take on Lautoka at 6.30pm today.