FIJI under-20 rep and Ba Sangam College striker Junior Narendra Rao denied defending champions Central College a winning start in the secondary schools competition at the academy ground yesterday.
Central College took the early lead when Rusiate Matirerega scored the opener in the 10th minute. Matirerega, the son of former national rep Watisoni Voli, is a member of the Nadi district team.
However Rao cut short Central College's lead with the equaliser in the 20th minute.
Both teams were locked 1-all at half time.
Central College's Dev Raj's powerful attempt mid way through the second spell hit the hands of Ba Sangam goalkeeper Senirusi Bokini but popped over the cross bar.
Ba Sangam College coach Vishwa Lingam Achari said their hard work in the lead up to the tournament paid dividends.
He said his players stood up to the challenge against the champions.
"We went looking for a win in this match but had to settle for a draw," Achari said.
"Actually for the next match we were going for maximum points. The heat was intense at midday."