A BLUNDER by Labasa goalkeeper Akuila Mataisuva cost the Babasiga Lions vital points as they slip 1-2 in the National Football League (NFL) opener at Subrail Park yesterday.
Bulked with experienced players, the Kalyanji Pala Labasa failed to give its fan a rousing start to 2013 football season.
Nadi and Labasa shared equal opportunities in the opening half with the host having better chances to score the opener but failed as the Jetsetters stood their ground to deny the chances they created.
Joseph Mishra, who made his debut for the northerners, combined well with returning Misaele Draunibaka and other Labasa attackers to delight the home crowd with some superb football skills.
Nadi with old hands, brothers Veresa and Viliame Toma, who hails from Yako village, marshaled the young looking side well while new recruit Poasa Bainivalu proved his worth in the defence and with the help of other Nadi defenders, kept the Labasa attackers at bay .
Both teams were locked nil-all at the break and a strong pep talk by stand in Nadi coach Timoci Raju saw the visitors getting their act together to score the opener in the early stages of the second spell.
Veteran Veresa Toma showed he still has what it takes to play competitive soccer at the super premier level after slotting the opening goal of the 2013 Fiji Sun/GP Batteries NFL competition.
Labasa replied through youngster Vikranth Chandra, who marvelled the fans with the bicycle kick to level the score 1-1.
Nadi had the last laugh as defensive blunder from Labasa handed them the 2-1 win.
Labasa Football Association secretary Nilesh Lal said the team played a better game and was unfortunate to loss.
Nadi coach Raju was impressed with the team's performance.