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Star in the rising

Rashneel Kumar
Thursday, March 20, 2014

WHAT a proud moment for Fiji football.

Our very own Roy Krishna is making headlines again after becoming the first Fijian player to score in the A-League competition.

This eventually earned the striker from Siberia, Labasa, the A-League's Player of the Week Award, another first for Fiji football.

Krishna, who plays for Wellington Phoenix, was also the first Fijian to score in the FIFA World Club Championship for Auckland City in December last year.

This 26-year-old sensation is one of the few players who have progressed through the grades to become renowned players thus marketing the talent that we have and can produce in the country.

Labasa's Ivor Evans and Ba's Esala Masi were the other greats who prospered in the past and proved great ambassadors for Fiji football.

Evans played for the Canadian professional club Vancouver 86ers while Masi enjoyed his professional football stint in Australia at the time when the A-League didn't exist.

The onus really is on the districts and the Fiji Football Association to expose the talent we have and develop them into quality players like those "terrific trio".

For a start, let's play some international matches.

NFL

The Fiji Sun/Skipper Tuna National Football League is on a break to allow Nadi and Ba time to prepare for the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Champions League.

It's a timely call because these two Western giants are not only representing their districts but also our nation.

While we wish them the best in the competition, which will be played next month in Ba and Lautoka, let's take a look at the round seven NFL matches held last weekend.

Navua 1 Labasa 5

It rained goals on a drizzling Sunday afternoon and hapless Navua was at the receiving end.

The Manoj Kumar-coached side started well in the opening spell and managed to hold the Babasiga Lions 1-1 at the break.

Labasa's Kushal Naicker scored both goals in the opening spell.

In the second spell, Labasa's 3-5-2 formation found the rhythm and goals from striker Joseph Mishra (3) and Ilisoni Logaivou (1) sealed the 5-1 win for the Northerners.

Navua obviously lacked experience and fitness, as coach Kumar later conceded, some senior players failed to turn up for training.

But what more it seem to lack is the unity in the association.

Once it gets its house in order, Navua as we have seen in the past has the ability to produce some great results in the domestic competition.

Right now it should work hand in hand to avoid the bottom place and the danger of getting relegated to the premier division.

Nadroga 1 Rewa 1

The Delta Tigers have lost crucial points in their run for the national league title but a fantastic job from the Stallions to get themselves out of the bottom two.

Joseph Elder took advantage of the blunder by the Rewa defence and sneaked in to give Nadroga a 1-0 lead which was cancelled in the last quarter of the match by Iosefo Verevou.

Nadroga with a bunch of young and talented players marshaled by few old hands are truly the underdogs this season.

It earlier defeated Lautoka and gave a tough time to undefeated and league leader's Suva.

Rewa with an experienced outfit has been lacking that firepower upfront to score the goals.

With Verevou upfront, the team needs a lethal partner to turn those opportunities into goals.

But it seemed to have missed some regulars, who if available, will prove a handful for the hosts.

Quote of the week

"Our defence was not up to standard and they allowed Nadroga to dictate play," Rewa coach Marika Rodu after his side drew with minnows Nadroga 1-1.





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