Ba upsets Jetsetters
31 July, 2017, 12:00 am
BA staged a late rally to upset Nadi 2-1 in the Vodafone Premier League game at Govind Park on Saturday.
Experienced Laisenia Raura and Saula Waqa came off the bench in the final quarter to guide the home side to victory after Nadi took an early lead through Andrew Naicker.
Ba saved the best for the last to delight their fans with a strong finish against a well equipped Jack’s Nadi outfit.
Naicker scored easily from a tap in to put the visitors in the front in the 10th minute.
He took advantage of a defensive blunder to send the ball past Ba goalkeeper Misiwani Narube.
With the vocal support of the fans, Ba finally started to penetrate the Nadi mid-field and defensive line in the latter stages of the match.
Waqa headed in cross to equalise.
In extra time Nadi’s Rusiate Matarerega missed a sitter beating two Ba defenders but failed to get the ball through the grasps of Nairube in a one on one situation.
On the counter attack Laura rifled in the winner after which referee Ravitesh Behari blew the final whistle.
Nadi coach Viliame Toma expressed disappointment with the result.
“Firstly we did not train well because of the hype of the Bula Festival,” he said.
“Many of the players were carrying injuries from the Battle of the Giants. Both teams had chances of scoring but Ba utilised their chances well so congratulations to them.”
Ba manager Arvind Singh was happy to win saying beating Nadi was not easy.
“They fielded an experienced side but we made a good comeback” Singh said.
“The boys were casual in the first half and took things lightly. So at half time the message was to change their attitude. It was to play constructive football and not just hit and run.”
Meanwhile Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel has reaffirmed that Lautoka’s Churchill Park would be the venue for this year’s Courts Inter District Championship in October despite rumours that it could be shifted.
Nadi: Vereti Dickson, Ilimotama Jese, Napolioni Qasevakatini, Rusiate Matarerega, Andrew Naicker, Elvin Prasad, William Valentine, Ame Votoniu, Mosese Baleinagaga, Waisake Tabucavu, Rupeni Rabici. Ba: Misiwani Nairube, Manasa Nawakula, Josefata Neibuli, Suliano Tawanakoro, Meli Codro, Ravnit Chand, Narendra Rao, Sitiveni Cavulagi, Kishan Sami, Malakai Rakula, Samuela Nabenia.