Caption: Nadroga’s Mohammed Tasleem scores while the Lautoka players looks at the ball into the net. Photo: ANUSHIL KUMAR.
By ANUSHIL KUMAR
The Finance Pacific Nadroga is the first team to qualify for the knockout stages of the 2014 Courts Inter-District Championship tournament.
This was after the Stallions defeated Lautoka 1-0 in a mouth-watering pool encounter at ANZ Stadium in Suva earlier today, October 10.
Lautoka just needed a draw to become the first team to qualify, however the ‘tournament upsetters’ displayed a gallant performance againt an unbeaten Blues creating another upset in front of over 2000 fans at present at Laucala.
The BOG finalists dominated most of the possessions into the opponents territory while the Stallions took advantage of the counter attacks created, but the teams failed to capitalize on the opportunities.
Mohammed Tasleem made the difference in the game as a corner kick from the left end deflected off goalie Levi Tawake which landed on Tasleems foot and without hesitation, the stylish-stallion-striker blasted the ball to the roof of the net early into the second half.
With tactical changes by coach Lambert Sarju after conceding a goal, Lautoka tried every way possible to get the much needed equalizer, however the stubborn Nadroga defense worked overtime while goalkeeper Alifereti Baleiloa showed some deadly saves to keep the score intact till the final whistle.
Lautoka now awaits the final result of the Ba versus Rewa clash at 5pm and will be hoping the end match ends in a draw or a win to Ba, but not more than two clear goals.