Newcomers surprise giants Lautoka at their home turf

RAKIRAKI bravely held Lautoka to a 1-all draw in yesterday’s Vodafone league game held at Lautoka’s Churchill Park.

Former Lautoka Youth player Zainal Hussein was the star for Rakiraki after beating national goalkeeper Beniamino Mateinaqara to score the first goal of the match in the 15th minute of play.

No one would ever thought for Rakiraki being a newcomer to the Super Premier Division to stop Lautoka’s winning momentum. Lautoka has won all their past four games until the meeting with Rakiraki.

It took the Blues 80 minutes to finally level the score as new kid on the block Siotame Kubu continued his goal scoring spree in the competition.

Kubu, who scored a hatrick against Nadi last weekend, was in perfect position to finish off a wonderfully cross kick saving his team from the jaws of defeat.

Lautoka missed out on many scoring opportunities and even the experience of star players such as Samuela Drudru, Jone Vono Jr, Jone Vesikula, Ilaitia Tuilai, Mateinaqara, Kavaia Rawaqa failed to deter the spirit of the Rakiraki players as they pressurised the opposition throughout the game.

Rakiraki goal scorer Hussein said scoring against Lautoka was a proud moment for him and thanked his teammates for their effort.

“To beat the national goalkeeper is a proud moment for me and I thank my teammates for the commitment throughout the game,” he said.

“I have been playing for Lautoka Youth team but was not picked in the main team but this did not stop me from playing the game I loved most.

“I was grateful for Rakiraki in allowing me to be part of the team even though I am staying in Lautoka all my life.”

Lautoka coach Kamal Swammy said his players failed to find their rhythm and missed out on many scoring opportunities.

“We let ourselves down and I think the players underestimated Rakiraki,” he said.

“We need a lot of improvements in our finishing.”

Rakiraki coach Pradesh Goundar said it was a proud day for Rakiraki soccer to hold an experienced team like Lautoka.

“I believe the outcome of this game will inspire the players to work harder,” he said.

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