BOG 2023 decider | First Labasa-Navua final in tournament’s history

Labasa's Rusiate Doidoi heads the ball during their match against Lautoka in the Rooster Chicken Scoop Ice Cream Battle of the Giants semi-final at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva yesterday. Picture; JONA KONATACI

The Extra Supermarket Labasa football side will play Southern Forest Navua in the final of the Rooster Chicken/Scoops Premium Ice Cream Battle of the Giants tournament in Suva today.

This will be the first time the two teams will play in the final of the BOG since its inception in 1978.

A 10-man Labasa side came from behind twice in the semi-final against favourites Bargain Box Lautoka to push the match into extra-time after being locked 2-all after extra time.

Sakaraia Naisua headed the Blues ahead before Netani Suluka equalised for the Babasiga Lions.

Usman Omede had a bit of luck on his side as he regained the lead for the Sugar City side 14 minutes into the second spell.

Christopher Wasalala equalised as the match headed into extra-time.

Ilisoni Lolaivalu was shown a red card for a second bookable offence as the teams headed for the dreaded penalty kicks.

Edwin Sahayam missed the first penalty for Labasa as Afraz Ali had the chance to seal the deal for Lautoka with the fifth penalty but blasted it over the cross bar.

Sekove Naivakananumi converted the sixth penalty for Labasa while the northerners’ stopper Simione Tamanisau stopped Lautoka’s Sitiveni Cavuilagi’s shot, seeing Labasa through to the final.

In the second semi-final, Southern Forest Navua edged Dynamic Concrete Solutions/Ram’s Cleaning Services Suva 1-nil.

Coming into the semi-final, Navua had not defeated Suva since gaining promotion in 2018.

Brian Charitar blasted in the winning header from a perfectly timed cross from nippy Thomas Dun on the right flank.

Suva tried hard in the dying minutes but failed to find the equaliser.

Navua plays Labasa in the final at 3pm at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva today.

In the curtain raiser, Nasinu will face Savusavu at 1pm in the Digicel Senior League playoff match.

The winner of this match will gain promotion to the Premier Division next season.

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