Tiwa scores lone goal; Yalalevu crowned club champ

Yalalevu soccer team and their officials hoist the National Club Championship trophy after winning the final in Suva. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

IT was an all Ba affair, as Yalelevu Football Club took home for the first time the National Club Championship title defeating neighbours Nailaga Football Club 1-0 at the Fiji Football Academy ground in Vatuwaqa yesterday.

National football rep and Ba midfielder Malakai Tiwa scored the only goal of the match to seal the win for his home club.

“It was our first appearance at the NCC and our target was to win it, and give the glory to God for helping us,” said Tiwa.

Yalalevu and Nailaga both qualified from the Ba Football association local league where Nailaga had the upperhand defeating Yalalevu 2-1.

A heated engagement from the first whistle saw referee Kavitesh Behari dish out eight yellow cards throughout the game and the lone red card in the first half to Nailaga captain and striker Saula Waqa after a dangerous tackle.

Yalalevu got their goal just before the break after a cross from Yalalevu captain Sanaila Waqanicakau found Tiwa who headed the ball past Nailaga goalkeeper Meli Bavatu.

Yalalevu coach Shalend Lal was elated for the win and said hard work paid off in the end.

“This has all been the results of a four-year development program for the club,” Lal said.

“In the third year of our development program, we had reached the championship and taken the title.

“I salute the players for a great performance and we will look forward to defending our title next year.”

Yalalevu received the trophy and the $5000 prizemoney.

Runner-up Nailaga FC received $1500.

Tiwa was also named player of the tournament.

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