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Winning start

Zanzeer Singh
Tuesday, April 08, 2014

PROLIFIC striker Osea Vakatalesau turned on a magical performance to guide Ba to a 2-0 victory against AS Magneta in their Oceania Football Confederation Champions League clash at Govind Park yesterday.

Vakatalesau made his presence felt right from the opening whistle with his fast breaks.

After missing two golden opportunities, one from the penalty spot, the 28-year-old powered home a right footer from the edge of the box in the 19th minute following a long through pass.

Vakatalesau proved to be the workhorse for the Vodafone 4R Electrical Men in Black and was a thorn in the New Caledonian champions defence.

Nippy Abbu Zahid Shaheed finished off Ba's brilliant start with an easy tap in after Vakatalesau's drive came off the post in the dying stages of the game.

Ba dominated possession and could have won by a higher margin had the players taken their opportunities to score.

The visitors had their chances of scoring but finishing proved to be their biggest drawback. AS Magneta's Ludovic Wakanamune was sent off in the 87th minute after picking up his second yellow card.

Ba coach Yogendra Dutt was happy with the result and heaped praises on Vakatalesau.

Dutt said pressure was on the boys to perform in front of their supporters.

"The teams participating in the tournament are all champions from their countries so we can expect this type of tough matches," he said.

"A lot pressure was on the players to perform so they missed many chances. We have to talk about that.

"But this win will release the pressure off them. Osea was very instrumental up front. Time and again he made breaks providing the team with a lot of energy.

"I'm proud of everybody's efforts. There are no injury worries and we will decide on the formation of the team for the next game after the recovery session."

AS Magneta coach Alain Moizan speaking through an interpreter said his players would need to work harder in the next game.

Moizan said he would be looking to make some changes.

Today's matches will be played at Churchill Park in Lautoka. At 1pm Amicale FC will face AS Dragon while at 4pm Nadi will take on Auckland City.

AS Magenta: Jelen Ixoee, Loic Wakanumune, Ludovic Wakanumune, Cedrick Sansot, Noel Kaudre, Paul Poatinda, Pierre Wajoka, Kouriane Dokunengo, Kalaje Gnipate, Leopold Makalu, Michel Hmae, Jean Wakanumune, Benjamin Bernard-Herve.

Ba: Epeli Codro, Avinesh Suwamy, Marika Madigi, Ronil Kumar, Jone Vesikula, Abbu Zahid, Mavileko Nakama, Josefata Neibuli, Remueru Tekiate, Osea Vakatalesau, Laisenia Raura.





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