DEFENDING champions 4R Electrical struggled to a 2-0 win against FC Education in the opening match of the Kriz Signs National Club Championship at Prince Charles Park in Nadi last night.
The 4R team, laced with several Ba reps, failed to penetrate through the stubborn FC Education defence in the first half and needed to rely on a defensive blunder to score the opener through Malakai Tiwa midway in the second spell.
Jone Ralulu, who swapped his goalkeeper's jersey to don the striker's jumper, scored the second goal late in the match.
4R Electrical captain Osea Vakatalesau admitted that they overestimated the Lautoka club.
He said they regrouped at halftime.
"This is a wake-up call for us," the national rep said.
"We took FC Education lightly. The boys will have to work harder in the two remaining matches. We will treat each game as the final."
FC Education coach Mohammed Shameem said they had nothing to lose in the fixture.
He said they played gallantly.
"Losing by two goals against such a star-studded team is a positive result for us," Shameem said.
"We will play with the same passion.
"It is all about development of the players for the district."
In the second match, Combine FC of Navua beat Blues FC of Nadi 1-0.
Matches kick-off at 10.30am today.
The winner of the competition will receive $3000 while the runner-up will get $1500.