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Fiji Time: 7:38 PM on Friday 25 April

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Blues reign over Nadi

Zanzeer Singh
Monday, December 23, 2013

LAUTOKA defeated neighbour Nadi 1-0 to claim the Late Jimmy Ram Pratap trophy at Churchill Park yesterday.

Former Central College student Leisari Qalica scored the winner for the Design Engineering Blues in the 77th minute against the Shop N Save-sponsored Jetsetters.

Qalica was on target to put the ball beyond goalkeeper Benamino Matainaqara following a counterattack.

The Sugar City side won the two-match series after the first tie ended in a 1-all draw at Prince Charles Park on Wednesday.

Nadi, winners of the recent Pacific Cup in New Zealand, tried a new strike force combination with Amani Makoe and Napolioni Qasevakatini and resting top goal scorer Rusiate Matarerega on the bench.

The visitors squandered many scoring opportunities in the first spell.

Nadi team director Javed Hussein said the loss was a wake-up call ahead of the Champion versus Champion series against Ba next month.

Hussein said fitness was an area they needed to work on.

"We missed our chances especially in the first half," he said.

"That is what soccer is all about. When you get a chance you have to score. Lautoka did just that, taking that lone chance.

"For the Champion versus Champion series we will need to sharpen our attack. This was our build up. We will take a short break for Christmas before resuming training."

Lautoka Football Association president Shalendra Prasad said the victory was a morale booster for them ahead of the start of the new season.

Prasad said they would look at developing more of their home grown talents.

"It is good to see Leisari getting back to scoring ways," he said.

"He wasn't given much game time this season. We have to work on these young players who will be our future stars."

The Lautoka team players have been given a break and will resume training on January 3.

Teams

Lautoka: Alifereti Baleiloa, Ilaitia Tuilau, Praneel Naidu, Noa Vukica, Jone Kaloutani, Javed Hussein, Mitieli Namuka, Alvin Avinesh, Dave Radrigai, Edward Justin, Lesari Qalica.

Nadi: Benamino Mateinaqara, Ilimotama Jese, Ame Votoniu, Eliki Ravosai, Rahul Krishna, Vuniocu Tikomaimereke, William Valentine, Uraia Loki, Munit Krishna, Amani Makoe, Napolioni Qasevakatini.