2019 BOG: Babasiga Lions through to the final

Napolioni Qasevakatini in control for Labasa against Nasinu. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

REPLACEMENT striker Ilisoni Lolaivalu scored a brace of goals to help Labasa oust Nasinu 3-0 at extra time during the Inkk Mobile Battle of the Giants semi-final at Churchill Park in Lautoka last night.

The win gave the Babasiga Lions their berth in today’s final.

It was left to the substitutes Lolaivalu and Solomon Islander Dennis Ifunaoa to get the ball past Nasinu goalkeeper Josaia Ratu, who played his heart out for the southerners despite receiving a head knock following two heavy falls during the match.

Ratu was examined by Dr Ronal Kumar for concussion, but he continued to finish the game.

The match ended scoreless after the mandatory 90 minutes forcing two extra spells of 15 minutes.

Ifunaoa caught the Nasinu defenders off-guard on the right flank and drove the ball past the outstretched hands of Ratu in the 105th minute while Lolaivalu scored his double in the second extra spell.

Nasinu was reduced to 10 players after Luke Savu was red-carded in the first spell of extra time.

Labasa went into the match as the favourites, but was met by a very determined Nasinu outfit.

Nasinu coach Tagi Vonolagi said the red card cost them the game as their players were quite fatigued.

Labasa coach Ronil Lal said the BOG title was long overdue since their last title victory in 1997.

Meanwhile, Lautoka led Suva 2-1 in the second semifinal when this edition went to press last night.

Teams:

Labasa: Akuila Mateisuva, Iliesa Lino, Sitiveni Rakai, Siotame Kubu, Napolioni Qasevakatini, Ashnil Raju, Akeimi Ralulu, llisoni Logaivau, Antonio Tuivuna, Ravinesh Karan Singh, Taniela Waqa (C).

Nasinu: Josaia Ratu,Sekove Naivakananumi, Nasoni Mereke, Manasa Levaci (C), Usaia Tadu, Joseph Mishra, Jone Naraba, Isikeli Ratucava, Luke Savu, Arami Manumanubai, Leone Damudamu. || Lab

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