DEFENDING champion Lautoka was held 2-all by Labasa in the opening pool game of the TISI Sangam soccer tournament at Lawaqa Park yesterday.
The Sugar City boys looked to secure a win after scoring two goals in the first spell but a late surge by the Babasiga players in the second spell leveled proceedings.
Lautoka banked on the experience and class of Lautoka reps such as Alvin Avinesh, Arvindra Naidu and Salesh Bula Sami early in the game, enabling them to register two early goals.
The tough defensive pattern by Labasa also laid the platform for the Babasiga forwards to exploit Lautoka's defensive weakness and turned the tables scoring two goals in the second spell.
Sports chairman Gopal Naidu said Lautoka, with the services of some big names, was given a good run for their money.
He said Labasa would be the team to beat during the four-day tournament.
In other games yesterday: Nadroga 2-0 Vuci South, Auckland 1-0 Nalovo, Malolo 1-0. The competition continues today.