Caption: The Lautoka side during the BOG few years back. FILE PHOTO.
By ANUSHIL KUMAR
An experienced and sensational marksman Peni Finau proved to be the hero for the blues as he came off the bench to help Lautoka hold 4R Electric Ba 1-1 at Churchill Park in Lautoka earlier today, October 5.
The 2014 BOG finalist started the match on a high after the blues debutant and former Nadi rep Rusiate Matarereqa missed an early scoring opportunity into the first minute of play.
Tournament reigning champions had nothing to lose in the early minutes as a well-timed cross into the Lautoka box saw an unmarked Jone Vesikula who without hesitating slammed the ball past diving goalie Levi Tawake to give Ba a 1-0 lead in the 5th minute of play.
Ba coach Ravinesh Kumar’s tactics to keep Avinesh Swamy in an attacking role paid dividends for the team as they maintained a slender lead at half time.
Second half started at a low pace as referee Andrew Achari showed Ba’s under-20 rep Praneel Naidu his marching orders following a dangerous tackle on Shiron Naidu.
Lautoka mentor Lambert Sarju made tactical changes in the second half which saw Peni Finau nodding in the equalizer in the 95th minute following a cross from lanky midfielder Alvin Avinesh which gave the diving Misiwani Nairube no chance at all as the blues managed to hold a 10-men Ba side setting for one point each from this nail-biting encounter.
Meanwhile, in all other matches played over the weekend, All Freight Logistics Suva managed to beat hosts Labasa 3-2 in a rainy and soggy condition at Subrail Park in Labasa, BOG Champions Rewa escaped with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Finance Pacific Nadroga while the Shop N Save Nadi thumped new-comers T/Naitasiri 4-0 at Prince Charles Park.