Caption: Nadi’s Vuniuci Tikomaimereke tussles against Nadroga’s Vinit Singh during the Fiji Sun/ Skipper Tuna National Football League clash at Prince Charles Park in Nadi today, February 1. Photo: ANUSHIL KUMAR. For more photos, click here:- https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.620369051333864.1073741976.131483256889115&type=1
By ANUSHIL KUMAR
Shop N Save Nadi made a perfect start of the Fiji Sun/ Skipper Tuna National Football League beating Nadroga 2-0 at Prince Charles Park in Nadi today, February 1.
The game started on a high as both teams applied early pressure showing their hunger to grab the maximum points.
Eagerly awaiting fans came alive as Amani Makoe netted home the opening goal in the 37th minute with a 35 yard pile-driver as Nadroga goalkeeper Sakeo Taganeca failed to stop a powerful shot.
The game became more interesting as Nadi’s wonder boy Rusiate Materereqa struck the second goal in the 41st minute after a defensive blunder by the Nadroga players failing to clear the ball as Nadi led 2-0 at the breather.
Coming back into the second half, Nadroga played their level best to make a comeback into the game but they failed to do capitalize on their opportunities.
Nadroga was reduced to 10-men as Shivneel Sharma was given the marching orders in the 93rd minute for a deliberate hand ball.
The stallions coach tried every techniques but it was too late as Nadi came out victors grabbing the three points from their first league encounter.
Nadi coach Kamal Swamy was happy with the result however he still has a lot to improve on.
“The season started well as we were able to get the three points but we will try to improve on our game,” Kamal Swamy said.
“We cannot count out Nadroga as they are also a good side and I knew that they would come back into game so we tried to work on our defense and move on counter attacks, but still we have to work on our finishing,” he added.
According to Nadroga coach Joseph Nand, they lost to technically superior side and was happy with the boys performance.
“Down by two goals, we tried to change our formation to 3-5-2, it worked but by then Nadi tightened their defense and chasing two goals against a team like Nadi is very hard,” said
Nadi: Benaminio Mateinaqara (c), Ilimotama Jese, Ame Votoniu, Amani Makoe, Shafim Buksh, William Valentine, Munit Krishna, Vuniuci Tikomaimereke, Napolioni Qasevakatini (Isoa Ratuva), Ratu Inia Bainivalu (Lekima Gonerau), Rusiate Matarerega (Jolame Vukivuki).
Nadroga: Sakeo Taganeca, Vinit Singh, Peni Finau, Leone Vurukania, Tomasi Tuicakau (Shivan Kumar), Alvin Prasad, Shivneel Sharma, Luka Rawadamu, Joseph Elder (Watisoni Kamoka), Ronald Lawrence, Samuela Tukunano.