May 27, 2018
A second half hat-trick from lanky marksman Rusiate Matarerega has sealed a semifinal spot for Nadi as the Jetsetters defeated Suva 3-2 in a thrilling Pool B decider of the Vodafone Fiji FACT at Ratu Cakobau Park today
Both teams had an equal chance of progressing to the semis as Nadi had 1 point while Suva had 3 points heading into the match.
After a goal-less first half, the floodgates opened in the second spell with Matarerega heading the ball beyond the reach of goalkeeper Simione Tamanisau in the 49th minute.
Suva replied with their equalizer two minute later through Ravinesh Karan Singh.
Matarerega again found the back of the net after an individual effort in the 64th minute but Suva managed to draw the scores level in the 73rd minute as Tevita Waranaivalu dived in and chested the ball past the line as goalkeeper Vereti Dickson was beaten.
A defensive blunder by Suva in the 84th minute saw Matarerega again steal the ball and place it to the right of a diving Tamanisau.
The result left Nadi with 4 points- equal with Tavua but a better goal difference saw them progress.
Nadi scored 4 goals and conceded 4 while Tavua scored 3 goals and conceded 3.
Lautoka tops Group B with 5 points and Nadi finishes as the runner-up.
By Reginald Chandar