SARASWATI College bounced back after their 1-5 loss to Kamil College to defeat defending champion Drasa Secondary 2-0 in the Vodafone secondary schools under-19 pool game at Ba's Govind Park yesterday.
The Nausori-based school ended Drasa's unbeaten run and also left the Pool B wide open for Kamil College, Drasa and Saraswati to fight for the final two spots in the quarter-finals later in the afternoon. Naleba and Nawai have slim chances of qualifying after losing two games each in the pool games.
Saraswati finally found their form to outclass the defending champion as it set its focus on a must-win game against Naleba in their last pool game this morning.
Star striker Jimi Voce was the toast of the Saraswati side when he scored the lone goal of the first spell to bolster his teammates' morale.
The side continued the momentum in the second-half and forced the defending champion into unforced errors before being awarded an own goal midway into the second spell.
Drasa tried its best to break the opposition brick wall but to no avail.
Saraswati mentor Nathan Shivan said the game was a must-win game for his troops to keep their hopes alive of reaching the elimination stages.
He said the players had finally adapted to the hot weather after a poor start on day one.
"The boys have found their winning rhythm after our 1-5 loss to Khalsa to bounce back and beat Nawai 4-1 before beating Drasa 2-0 in our second game," said Shivan.
"We need to beat Naleba by a huge margin to keep our hopes alive of playing in the second round of competition.
"I am optimistic the boys will lift their performance in our last pool game."
Meanwhile, in the other pools, Tilak High School, Penang , Gurunanak Khalsa, Balata, Labasa Muslim and Nadi College are highly tipped to qualify for the quarter-finals.
U19 results: Labasa Muslim 2-2 Nabua, Nukuloa 0-2 Baulevu,Gurunanak Khalsa 0-0 Vashist, Balata 5-0 Sigatoka Andhra, Drasa 0-2 Saraswati, Naleba 2-0 Nawai, vunimoli 0-0 Sigatoka Methodist, Tilak 1-0 Tailevu North.