PRANEL Kumar came off the bench to ignite Navua to a 5-2 come-from-behind victory over Nadroga in the Fiji Sun/GP Batteries National Football League at Prince Charles in Nadi yesterday.
Nadroga twice led in the match but failed to maintain their momentum allowing Navua to hit back showing superior finishing in the second spell.
It was a perfect start for newly appointed Navua Football Association interim president Faud Anwar who took over the reign from Gopal Naidu on Friday night.
This was Navua second consecutive win in the competition after going down to Ba 2-0 in the opening round. Last week Navua trounced Tavua 4-0.
Yesterday's win pushed the Manoj Kumar-coached Navua side to fourth position on the NFL points table.
Manoj said their tactics proved fruitful.
He said they benched some senior players.
"Tactics make you win matches and we allowed Nadroga to run us around in the first half," Manoj said.
"Then we sent in our senior reps and went into attacking mode. The boys played their hearts out."
"We came back after being down twice. Despite the big win we still need to work on our fitness."
Tomasi Tuicakau shocked the Navua team with Nadroga's opening goal in the 3rd minute. Netani Doli equalised for the southerners in the 29th minute when his shot went in after hitting the post.
Both teams were locked 1-all at the break.
Nadroga regained the advantage early in the second spell through John Rounds Junior who cleverly collected Tuicakau's back heel and placed the ball past Sheik Moshin. The goal lifted the Stallions who headed back into attack.
Ranjit Singh, Adit Sharma and Rounds Junior missed easy opportunities.
Praneel levelled for Navua in the 61st minute. Vineet Chand scored the third goal for Navua in the 69th minute, Praneel got his double two minutes later while lanky Apisai Smith sealed the win seven minutes from fulltime.
Nadroga coach Waisea Tale Senior said their defence crumbled.
He said they gave away their advantage twice.
"In the last quarter we lost the plot," Tale Senior said. Our defence let us down. The boys failed to stick to the game plan."
"There was no discipline. Some senior players have been missing training. They think they are in the starting team and opt to miss the training sessions."
Nadroga: Benjamin Rokobaro, Vinit Singh, Ratu Jone Tuinaceva, Waisea Tale Junior, John Rounds Junior, Luke Rawadamu, Setareki Delana, Watisoni Kamoka, Tomasi Tuicakau, Adit Sharma, Krishneel Dutt.
Navua: Sheik Moshin, Rajnil Chand, Sireli Vosa, Rohit Chand, Vineet Chand, James Charittar, Inia Boko, Apisai Smith, Iliesa Lino, Netani Doli, Seveci Rokotakala.