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Ba punished

Zanzeer Singh
Monday, April 28, 2014

BA faced a major setback in its campaign to reach the Oceania Football Confederation Champions League final after going down to Amicale 2-1 in the first leg of the semi-finals at Govind Park in Ba yesterday.

The Vodafone 4R Electrical Men in Black scored early but then allowed the Vanuatu club to hit back in quick succession in the second spell.

The goals lifted the visitors who started to find spaces in Ba's defensive armour to create more scoring opportunities.

Ba coach Yogendra Dutt introduced nippy Abbu Zahid Shaheed and Mavileko Nakama after conceding the second goal to add firepower up-front.

Shaheed showed glimpses of his uncanny dribbling skills but it came after the damage had been done.

Dutt said the defensive blunders cost them.

"We gave two goals away in the second half and that turned out to be the difference in this match," he said.

"We led 1-0 at halftime and wanted to maintain that lead, but when you make the mistakes you expect to get punished.

"We made two mistakes and they scored. We had chances to finish off but could not do it. There is another game in Port Vila and we will do our best to turn things around."

Avinesh Suwamy found the back of the net in the 12th minute after his drive went in off goalkeeper Chickau Mansale.

Amicale equalised in the 59th minute after Dominique Fred intercepted a back pass and drove the ball past Epeli Codro.

The visitors shocked the host fans a minute later with replacement Kensi Tangis hammering the ball in as the Ba defence crumbled.

Amicale coach Nathan Hall said his boys put on a gutsy performance.

Hall said they would need to maintain their consistency in the next match.

"I thought we were the better side in the first half," he said.

"I was disappointed with the first goal because there was a foul on our captain Nelson Kilifa. But I knew that with the balance of play that if we hung in there we would get one. And then to get another one 60 seconds was a bonus.

"We played well in the second half and dictated possession nicely. We created a few good moments in the match. The boys were gutsy and it is an outstanding result heading into Port Vila.

"At the end of the day still it is halfway. We have another 90 minutes to go, so we have to make sure that we deliver a professional performance.

"Ba is not out of the series and they have the ability to score goals. They have a lot of power and pace up front and will be dangerous. We will need to switch on and make sure that we play to our full potential."

Ba and Vanuatu will face off at the PVL Stadium in Port Vila this Saturday.

In the other semi-final, Auckland City defeated AS Pirae 3-0.

Amicale:

Chickau Mansale, Davide Talone, Esava Naqeleca, Nikola Vasilic, Francois Sakama, Daniel Natou, Nelson Kilifa, Dominique Fred, Jack Wetney, Marko Dordevic, Colin Marshal.

Ba:

Epeli Codro, Avinesh Suwamy, Jone Vesikula, Marika Madigi, Ronil Kumar, Maciu Dunadamu, Remueru Tekiate, Kiniviliame Naika, Peni Finau, Osea Vakatalesau, Laisenia Raura.





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