Caption: Amicale FC’s Esava Naqeleca attempts at Nadi goalmouth during the second groub B encounter at Churchill Park in Lautoka this afternoon, April 11. PHOTO: HARSHIL KUMAR. For more photos, click here:- https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.650546068316162.1073742005.131483256889115&type=3
By ANUSHIL KUMAR
Vodafone, Shop N Save Nadi’s hopes of semi-final came to an end after they were badly beaten by a star studded Amicale FC 6-0 in their second group B match at Churchill Park in Lautoka this afternoon, April 11.
It was a do or die situation for the Nadi side in order to stay in contention for a semi-final berth, however they were out-shadowed by the Nathan Hall coached Vanuatu club.
The jetsetters started the match on a high as they created goal scoring chances with captain Benaminio Mateinaqara doing overtime under the sticks with some magical saves, however it was a setback for them as sensational playmaker Uraia Loki was shown a direct red card by referee Norbert Hauata for a dangerous foul on Amicale captain Nelson Sale.
Both teams went on the breather with score-line locked at nil-all.
The second half was expected to be an exciting ball game by both sides as Marko Dordevic opened the floodgates in the 59th minute breaking the hearts of the mighty Nadi fans who had high expectations.
Nippy Nikola Vasilic doubled the lead in the 73rd minute after a defensive blunder by Nadi putting visitors ahead by 2-0.
Nadi received another setback in the 80th minute as substitute defender Ratu Inia Bainivalu got his marching orders for an unheralded incident adding more pressure on the side.
Playing with nine-men, Amicale took the most advantage of the situation getting four more goals in the later stage of the game thrashing Nadi out of semi-final contention and getting a lead for themselves in group B.
Winning coach Nathan Hall commended his boys for a job well done saying the team did a great job in the second spell.
“I am very happy with win today as this 6-0 scoreline has added more confidence in our boys come the match on Monday against one of the best football team,” Nathan commented.
While Nadi coach Kamal Swamy had no idea as to why the two red-cards were shown that led to the teams downfall.
“I still don’t know why the two red cards were shown and as it happened, it affected the team because playing with 9-men at OFC level is a very tough task,” Swamy said.
“We had a game plan but after the loss of two players, we were not able to stick to it,” he added.
Amicale FC and Auckland City are both on six points with Amicale having a better goal advantage, while Nadi FC and AS Dragons are out of the contention with two straight losses as their game on Monday will be a formality.