August 12, 2018
Labasa ended Lautoka’s unbeaten run in the Vodafone Premier League today by toppling the defending champions 2-0 at Churchill Park.
The hosts entered the match with the favorites tag after thumping Dreketi 4-0 on Friday night while Labasa after its 1-1 draw against Nadi was also out to better its performance.
A counter-attacking move in the 18th minute of play saw midfielder Edwin Sahayam take a powerful attempt which took a deflection off sweeper Kolinio Sivoki and landed into the back of the net.
The goal frustrated the hosts and their fans and the Kamal Swamy coached side opted to push more numbers in attack in the search for the equalizer.
Labasa led 1-0 at the break and tightened its defence in the second half while Lautoka made some positional changes and sent in Samuela Drudru and Leisari Qalica to add more strength and depth to the attack.
Drudru failed to contribute much and had to leave the field after just 10 minutes as he was red-carded by the match referee for dangerous play.
Lautoka had the chance to level the match after Mohammed Zaid was found guilty of a foul inside the box, but Zibraaz Sahib’s penalty was daringly saved by goalkeeper Akuila Mateisuva.
The Babasiga Lions sealed the match in injury time as Ilaisa Nayasi neatly walked past a few defenders and laid the ball into the path of Christopher Wasasala to slam the ball beyond the reach of goalkeeper Beniamino Mateinaqara.
Lautoka despite the loss remains on top of the VPL standing with 24 points after playing 11 matches while Labasa now has 15 points from 11 matches.
By Reginald Chandar