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Fiji Time: 11:35 PM on Wednesday 23 April

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Blues fizzle, content with scoreline

Manoj Kumar
Monday, July 22, 2013

LAUTOKA created almost a dozen chances but could not get the goal that would have buried highly fancied Labasa on their home turf.

Labasa goalkeeper Emori Ragata was in inspired form. Blues striker Nelson Oladiji was heavily marked right from the start but did well overall.

Chances were few in between for the Lions but three times they almost scored. It took a gutsy performance in goal by Lautoka stopper Jone Sorolo to deny the home team.

Lautoka FC president Shalend Prasad said they expected to return home with six points but was satisfied with four following Saturday night's 5-2 win over Savusavu.

"We will have to work on our finishing," Prasad said.

"Hopefully, we can learn from our mistakes and come back all fired up for the Battle of the Giants.

"We created so many chances but lacked the killer instinct. I'd like to thank some really nice people in the North. Parmod Enterprises for providing bus service, FSC's Vanua House Club for providing accommodation, Raj Chandra of CJ Patel Group for transportation and Lautoka patron Babu Rattan Deo of Shop and Save Supermarket for the groceries."

Jone Vonu Junior was the creator and tormentor for the Blues in the second half and set up several good moves but Ragata saved at least seven certain goals with a man-of-the-match performance. His opposite, Sorolo was equally impressive despite carrying a boil on his leg.

Young Edward Justine proved to be the find of the northern trip for the Blues showing glimpses of a star in the making.

A minute from the end Oladiji thought he had scored from an acute angle but was denied by the upright. On the opposite end, Joseph Misha's stunning strike was brilliantly saved by Sorolo. Labasa, having played their 18 games lie on fourth spot with 30 points while Lautoka, with two games remaining, is in fifth spot with 29 points.

In the other game at Subrail Park, Nadroga scored a 5-0 win over Savusavu. The premier division was won by Dreketi with a 2-1 win over Taveuni.

"They will now play Nasinu in a home and away play-off to decide the premier division winner," Fiji FA's Amitesh Pal said.