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Suva keeps league lead

Zanzeer Singh
Sunday, February 23, 2014

THE Gurjeet Singh-coached Suva team stretched its winning streak to six matches in the Fiji Sun/Skipper Tuna National Football League after beating Nadi 1-0 at Prince Charles Park yesterday.

Waisake Navunigasau proved to be the hero for the Whites scoring the lone goal in the 41st minute.

The Nadi defenders stood watching as the ball from a corner kick fell in the path of Navunigasau who easily poked the ball home following rebound.

Both teams had a player sent off the field by referee Ravitesh Behari after receiving consecutive yellow cards.

Nadi striker Napoliono Qasevakatini was the first to go in the 58th minute while Sakaraia Naisua followed him two minutes later.

Suva goalkeeper Ulaiasi Tamanisau stood tall under the crossbar for the duration of the match despite carrying an injury.

Nadi piled on the pressure in the second spell but failed to get the ball past the crowded Suva defence.

Singh said the win against Nadi was a positive one in their quest to win the title.

"Definitely happy beating Nadi on their home soil and it is a positive step for us," he said.

"We have won six out of six and hats off to the boys for maintaining the consistency. I knew that it would be a tough game and worked out a game plan to stop Nadi's attack.

"We changed our pattern of play and went more in defensive mode. Uliasi was injured but we brought him in at the last moment and he rose to the challenge."

Nadi Football Association president Navneeda Gounder said the loss was a blessing in disguise ahead of the Oceania Champions League playoffs in April.

Gounder said Suva had exposed their weaknesses.

"Not very disappointed but it is a good lesson for the boys," he said.

"They were flying too high after the three wins. Now they have to attend the daily training sessions.

"We will have to focus on the Oceania Champions League next which is a step up. Having lost to Suva, it just shows that there is a lot of work needed to be competitive at the higher level.

"We will have to lift our fitness level and will be using our own players in the Oceania Champions League.

"There is another five weeks to go and I'm sure that we will be able to build the combinations."

Nadi: Benaminio Mateinaqara, Eliki Ravosai, Amani Makoe, Ame Votoniu, Vunici Tikomaimereke, Shafim Buksh, Munit Krishna, William Valentine, Lekima Gonerau, Rusiate Matarerega, Napolioni Qasevakatini.

Suva: Uliasi Tamanisau, Jonas Naceva, Tomasi Uculoa, Waisake Navunigasau, Pita Rabo, Shahil Dave, Sakaraia Naisua, Samuela Drudru, Jale Dreloa, Kolinio Sivoki, Ravinesh Karan Singh.

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