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Wairabetia upsets top contender

Zanzeer Singh
Sunday, December 03, 2017

UNKNOWN Wairabetia upset favourites Navua 3-2 in the opening round of the Fiji Sanatan Battle of the Giants at the Xavier College ground in Ba yesterday.

Navua with district reps such as Vineet Chand, Rajneel Chand and Praneel Kumar led 2-0 at halftime. Pravin Prasad and Chand scored for the southerners.

However a direct red card to Navua defender Rajinesh Sharma changed the story of the match.

Shalvin Deo pulled one back for the Bobs Tiling and Maintenance-sponsored Wairabetia side in the opening moments of the second spell.

Dev Raj then scored a double for Wairabetia to record a shock win.

Wairabetia president Ritesh Kumar said they stuck to their game pattern despite being behind by two goals at the break.

Kumar said they received a lot of support from the Wairabetia community.

"We have got a good squad with a few new players," he said.

"Beating a team like Navua is not an easy task in 60 minutes football.

"This BOG will be tough because all the teams have been preparing for a while."

Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha Fiji sports wing acting president Dhirendra Nand said they had revived the BOG after many years.

Nand said the interest from the branches was overwhelming.

"A total of 17 branches are taking part," he said.

"The whole idea is to make this tournament grow bigger. We definitely would like to get the overseas teams to participate.

"We have put in a lot of work in our administration. All the players are now registered and licensed with identification cards. This was not done before. We have started it now so that only eligible players are able to participate in our religious tournament. There are restrictions on certain players who cannot take part.

"This is to keep the organisation clean. We are thinking of holding another tournament next year prior to our convention. Next year's convention will take place in Nasinu in June."

Results: Ba 1 Lautoka 0, National Youth 0 Nakasi 1, Drasa 2 National Brahman 0, Nasinu 0 Suva 0, Navua 2 Wairebetia 3, Votualevu 1 Rewa 3, Lautoka 4 Nakasi 0, Ba 6 National Youth 0, Suva 1 Tavarua/Varoka 1.

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