2023 Fiji Fact | Ba wins opener
10 June, 2023, 8:03 pm
The Ba football side beat Navua 2-1 in its opening match during the Digicel Fiji FACT at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva yesterday.
The Men in Black had the best of starts when Faazil Ali headed in the opening goal in the 7th minute.
Ali got in between two Navua defenders and squeezed his header past Navua stopper Sivo Rakuro.
Navua had a number of opportunities in the first spell but poor finishing let the team down.
The southerners started the second spell on a high but Ba stopper Tevita Koroi did not let Navua capitalise.
Jonetani Newa doubled Ba’s lead when he found himself unmarked in the Navua box.
Navua found rhythm and pressed the Ba goal.
They were eventually rewarded when Solomon Islander Jared Rongolisua pulled one back in the 76th minute with an individual effort.
Navua did press for an equaliser but Koroi stood tall in the Ba goal.
Ba coach Imdad Ali said the three points meant everything for his side.
“In a tournament we play for three points and thR is what we achieved in this game. Thought the performance wasn’t as good as I expected but am happy with the win,” Imdad said.
Navua coach Saiyad Ali said while he was happy with the performance of his team, it was the points that mattered.
“The boys played well but we lacked in our finishing today which cost us. Lapse of concentration in defence saw Ba get two goals and that is what mattered in the end,” Saiyad said.
Ba: Tevita Koroi, Praneel Naidu, Mohammed Raheem, Jonetani Newa, Rahul Naresh, Nabil Begg, Faazil Ali, Peceli Sukubula, Ratu Anare, Etonia Dogelau, Carlos Raffa Navua: Viliame Rakuro, Mathew Charitar, Arami Manumanubai, Mannav Permal, Mosese Balenagaga, Thomas Dunn, Melvin Mani, Suliano Doli, Zainal Ali, Joseph Elder, Jared Rongolisua