ANGRY fans clashed with security officials venting their frustration on the control of the match officials after the Fiji Sun/GP Batteries National Football League fixture between Lautoka and Rewa ended in a 1-all draw at Churchill Park yesterday.
A plastic bottle was thrown at the match officials including referee Ravitesh Behari, his assistants Avinesh Narayan, Adriu Naisoroki and reserve referee Jone Ravouvou as they walked off the pitch.
The atmosphere was tensed with fans jeering at the match officials who had to be barricaded at the Churchill Park official area for more than 20 minutes.
The fans were seemingly unhappy with a penalty decision which was not given when Nigerian Ali Chigozie Anthoney was brought down in the box by goalkeeper Epeli Loaniceva.
Some fans even stayed back to taunt the match officials as they were escorted to the changing room.
Fiji Football Association vice president Tarunesh Reddy, who was present during the match, said an investigation would be carried out into the incident.
He said they would first wait for the referee's report on the game.
Both teams had a player sent off in the second spell.
The two goalkeepers Lautoka's Jone Sorolo and Rewa's Loaniceva were outstanding in the fixture.
Rewa coach Marika Rodu said it was a game that they could have won. He said his boys fought well despite being down by a goal and a player.
"We could have easily won this match," Rodu said.
"We played better soccer in the good conditions. Unfortunately we missed a few key players but the young boys filled the vacuum."
"We had a couple of good chances which we threw away.
"But I'm happy with the fighting spirit shown by the boys when they were down by a player."
Lautoka Football Association president Shalendra Prasad gave credit to the Rewa players for concentrating for the duration of the game.
He said the Blues would need to work on their defence which was in disarray on many occasions.
"The referee's decision is final and that is all over the world," Prasad said.
"We had our chance of sealing the match but missed a penalty. We will need to brush up on our finishing after squandering many scoring opportunities."
"It is good to see that the fans are passionate about the Lautoka team however they cannot take the law into their hands."
Anthoney scored the first goal in the 20th minute following a through pass from fellow Nigerian Asonibi Henry Uche.
Lautoka led 1-0 at halftime.
Rodrick Singh was red carded in the 79th minute after he tripped Anthoney.
Uche stepped up to take the spot kick but blasted the ball over the crossbar.
Four minutes later Rewa pressured on a counter attack with Blues sweeper Isikeli Jeke nodding the ball over Jone Sorolo with Iosefo Verevou followed through with the equaliser.
Anthoney was shown the red card in injury time.
Lautoka: Jone Sorolo, Isikeli Jeke Keli, Joape Mundre, Mitieli Namuka, Noa Vukica, Jone Kaloutani, Ali Chigozie Anthony, Asonibi Hendry Uche, Alvin Avinesh, Zibraaz Sahib, Valerio Nawatu.
Rewa: Epeli Loaniceva, Leone Vurukania, James Naka, Robert Tasso, Akash Sharma, Betsy Ali, Rodrick Singh, Solomoni Niulevu, Shelvin Prasad, Kevin Singh, Archie Underwood.