May 25, 2018
Tavua made its return to the Vodafone Fiji FACT in style and registered a 2-1 upset win over Nadi in the opening match at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori today.
The Gold Miners laced with many young and unknown players entertained the 400 plus crowd with their beautiful display of football throughout the match and frustrated their much experienced opponents.
Nippy marksman Vilive Naulalevu opened the account for Tavua in the 8th minute after beautifully tapping a Waisake Soga through pass which had the Nadi defence beaten.
He again had the chance to double the scores three minutes later but goalkeeper Vereti Dickson stretched and made a daring save before the ball could cross the line.
Nadi managed to level the scores in the 35th minute after Captain Napolioni Qasevakatini broke through from the right flank and slammed in a powerful low shot which gave goalkeeper Jovilisi Borisi no chance at all.
The teams rested 1-1 at the break and Tavua came out stronger in the second half with better strategies and an effective game plan.
A couple of timely changes by Coach Saroj Kumar resulted in the winning goal as replacement striker Sumeet Goundar neatly walked past a few defenders and laid the ball into the path of Vilitati Kautoga who hit the roof of the net with his attempt.
Nadi toiled hard to level the match with late attempts but excellent goalkeeping by Borisi denied them any chance as Tavua walked away with 3 crucial match points.
Tavua will play Suva in its next match at 12pm tomorrow while Nadi will face Lautoka at 4pm.
By Reginald Chandar