April 29, 2018
Suva leads the Vodafone Premier League after thumping Dreketi 5-1 at Ratu Cakobau Park today.
The Capital City side now has 10 points after five matches.
Fresh from their 3-0 win over Labasa, the Whites entered the match with the favourites tag and took the lead in the 14th minute after Bruce Hughes pounced on a Ravinesh Karan Singh cross and slammed the ball into the roof of the net.
Hughes, Singh and Ivan Kumar missed three more scoring chances before the break and some stern pep-talk at halftime by the Suva officials saw the team enter the second spell with more focus and determination.
Singh scored the second goal of the match in the 47th minute after breaking the off-side trap and placing the ball to the right of goalkeeper Petero Namoce.
Goalkeeper-cum-striker Emori Ragata came off the bench to slot in Suva’s goal in the 64th minute and Dreketi pulled one back a minute later through Vilikesa Sowani.
The Northerners had the chance to narrow the scores to 3-2 as they were awarded a penalty after Sakaraia Naisua committed a foul inside the box but the attempt by Anish Khem was saved brilliantly by goalkeeper Simione Tamanisau.
Suva’s Singh was brought down inside the Dreketi box in the 72nd minute and Tamanisau made no mistake with his penalty attempt to put his side up by 4-1.
Replacement Menon Ram got credit for Suva’s fifth and final goal late in the match as Ravinesh Singh walked past a few defenders and tapped the ball over the goalkeeper and Ram followed through with a touch.
Suva Coach Tuka Tisam was pleased with the win and said his players gave their best in the last two matches.
“We had two tough games and the boys responded very well. We still have some areas to work on. Especially our defence, we need to be more coordinated and organised.”
“I made a change in midfield today and started Kelvin ahead of Madhavan and this worked well. Madhavan had played on Friday and today we wanted to try Kelvin. A few other changes were also made from the bench to test out the combinations and I am happy with the performance of all the players,” he said.
Dreketi Coach Johan Leewai said their performance dropped in the second half and his players somewhat began to tire out.
“It was a good game. We played very well in the first half but things just got a little slow in the second half and that is when we started to lose concentration. We scored a goal and could have changed the game around if we had scored the penalty. But things did not work in our favour and we will go back and look at our weaknesses.”
“We had two tough matches and I am personally happy to return home with a point. Every match and point matters to us in the VPL and after a little rest and recovery, we will get back in action and begin our training for the Fiji FACT which begins in two weeks’ time,”said Leewai.
Suva- Simione Tamanisau (C), Remueru Tekiate, Waisake Navunigasau, Sakaraia Naisua, Epeli Leiroti, Shahil Dave, Kelvin Naidu, Ivan Kumar (Filipe Baravilala), Bruce Hughes (Emori Ragata), Tevita Waranaivalu (Menon Ram), Ravinesh Karan Singh.
Dreketi- Petero Namoce (C), Usaia Tadu, Akeimi Ralulu, Anish Khem, Daniel Dass, Vilikesa Sowani, Sailasa Junior(Thomas Vulivuli), Mohammed Issac (Shamal Lal), Mohammed Yaseen, Sisa Valesua, Josefa Bolakivei (Apisai Sasewa).
By Reginald Chandar