Caption: The Shop N Save Nadi team pose for a photo before taking on Tailevu Naitasiri at Prince Chalres Park in Nadi earlier tonight. Photo: ANUSHIL KUMAR.
By ANUSHIL KUMAR
The Shop N Save Nadi started their 2014 Courts Inter-District Championship campaign on a high as they hammered newly promoted Tailevu Naitasiri 4-0 in their opening pool match at Prince Charles Park in Nadi tonight, October 4.
As expected, the match started with the green machine creating early attacks as youngster Shafim Buksh opened the floodgates in the 3rd minute with his long range acute angle shot from outside the Naitasiri box.
Goalkeeper Josaia Ratu showed a man of the match performance for the ‘new-comers’ making some deadly saves and denying the green strikers of Samuela Drudru, Ratu Josefata Dugucagi and long range attempts from mid-fielders Shafim Buksh and William Valentine as Nadi led 1-0 at the breather.
Nitan Kumar, Roderick Singh and Vikranth Chandra kept Nadi defenders Eliki Ravosai and Krishna Sami busy on their duties while goalie Benaminio Mateinaqara stood tall under the sticks.
With the inclusion of Ratu Veresa Toma and Vineel Naidu, the hosts increased their lead in the 79th minute through mid-fielder William Valentine with his pile-driver from out the opponent box.
Nadi maintained its attacking form till the last whistle as stylish striker Josefata Dugucagi slotted in the third goal in the 92nd minute before Lekima Gonerau headed in the fourth goal in the 96th minute putting the final nail into the opponents coffin.
Speaking to The Jet, winning coach Kamal Swamy was happy with the outcome of the match.
“I am happy with the win as its not only me as Yogendra Dutt and Pranesh Amarsee are both working with me and we must also realise that this team (Tailevu Naitasiri) came into the super premier division after a long time and they had nothing to lose.
“People think they are a weak team, but they are not because they came up with a game plan of counter attack and it worked out well for them.
“The support from the fans was also good and this was also a contributing a factor towards our boys’ performance tonight.”
Tailevu Naitasiri coach Shailendra Roy said the last fifteen minutes was their major downfall.
“In senior division they had been playing tournaments for 60 minutes and I think that was the turning point tonight as the boys were all over the places in the last fifteen minutes.
“Going back from tomorrow, I think we have to work on for the last fifteen minutes and we will surely come out strong next week.”