May 01, 2018
Rewa remains winless in the Vodafone Premier League after holding Labasa to a 1-1 draw at Ratu Cakobau Park on Sunday.
The Delta Tigers have already played six matches in the competition and have only managed to secure three draws.
After being held to a goal-less draw on Friday by Dreketi, Coach Marika Rodu made a number of changes to the starting line-up and added the experience of Amani Makoe, Siotame Kubu, Peniame Drova, Vuniuci Tikomaimereke and goalkeeper Epeli Loaniceva while the Babasiga Lions who suffered a 3-0 loss to Suva in their earlier match also made a wholesome number of changes with Thomas Steiner, Mohammed Zaid, Ratu Apenisa Anare, Iliesa Lino and Ilisoni Loloivalu all making the best 11.
After an exchange of misses in the first twenty minutes of the match by both teams, Rewa was first to find the back of the net in the 24 minute as Misaele Draunibaka broke through and placed the ball beautifully to the right of Labasa goalie Akuila Mateisuva.
Rewa led 1-0 at the break but gave its lead away early in the second half as Ashnil Raju stole the ball from the central defence area and chipped the ball into the roof of the net after fooling goalkeeper Loaniceva with pace and footwork.
Despite battling hard for the winner, the teams had to settle for a point each after the final whistle.
The draw dented Labasa’s chances of going on top of the VPL standings as a win would have given them 12 points.
The result however sees them equal on points (10 points) with Suva, but the Capital City side sits on top of the table due to better goal difference.
Labasa Coach Bal Sanju Reddy was not too pleased with the outcome and said the performance of the team was below expectation.
“We created a lot of opportunities but failed to score the goals which could have given us a win. I think the players took a lot of pressure after losing to Suva on Friday night. This was a below expectation performance.”
“We will have to sit and look back at all our mistakes and come out stronger. I thank Pita for guiding the boys in training during my absence.”
Rewa Coach Marika Rodu said his players lost focus in the second half.
“We played well in the first half and scored a good goal but in the second half the players got a little tired and started to make mistakes.”
“We wanted to win today and I told the boys not to panic but just play as a unit. A draw nevertheless is not bad and we have to work hard in other matches,” he said.
Rewa- Epeli Loaniceva, Peniame Drova, Josateki Tamudu, Vuniuci Tikomaimereke, Mohammed Naizal, Setareki Hughes, Misaele Draunibaka, Savenaca Baledrokadroka, Epeli Saukuru, Amani Makoe, Siotame Kubu.
Galaxy Plaza Labasa- Akuila Mateisuva, Taniela Waqa, Jale Dreloa, Pita Levaci, Thomas Steiner, Sitiveni Rakai, Iliesa Lino, Mohammed Zaid, Ashneel Raju, Ratu Apenisa Anare, Ilisoni Loloivalu.
By Reginald Chandar