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Underdogs show class in BOG semis

Rashneel Kumar
Sunday, August 31, 2014

IT was the day of the underdogs in the INKK Mobile Battle of the Giants (BOG) semi-finals yesterday at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

First up, it was Suva which lost to Rewa 1-2 in extra time play followed by the fall of giants Ba at the hands of Lautoka 4-5 in a penalty shootout.

Against the will of many football pundits, it will be a Rewa versus Lautoka final today at 3pm.

Lautoka's last and only BOG title win was in 1985. The side defeated Rewa 3-0 in the final in Suva and coach Lambert Sarju said they were keen to end the 29-year drought this year.

Record favours Rewa which has won the BOG title five times with the last one in 2011 at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori.

Sarju said Rewa would be a tough team to beat but they would not give up the fight for their second BOG title easily.

"It will be tough match when you come to the climax. The final is a different stage altogether and the better team will win tomorrow (today)," Sarju said.

"I told the boys that our fans have been waiting for you guys to bring some glory. BOG has not been tasted by Lautoka for more than 20 years and maybe we can do it this year."

Rewa coach Marika Rodu said they would regroup overnight and plan a strategy for the showdown.

He said he had faith in his players to deliver today.

"The fans have been asking for us to rise in the tournaments and it was not an easy task to develop these young players for past two years and we expect them to come in numbers to support the team," Rodu said.

Former Fiji football skipper and top goalkeeper Tagi Vonolagi predicts a close final adding Rewa had a slight edge over Lautoka.

"Rewa will have a slight advantage because they have a lot of speed in the striking force. Rewa got two sets of players in the team.

"They have all the experienced players in the backline and the young players upfront," said Vonolagi, who is a co-commentator for Fiji TV.

"Lautoka needs to organise their defence. It can go either way but it looks like its going Rewa's way."

Vonolagi said fatigue would be a factor as both semi-finals went into extra time.

Suva will take on Ba in the third place playoff at 1pm.

The winner will receive $11,000 while the runner-up will get $4000.





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