Monday, March 27, 2023
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Champs Suva beat Labasa to advance

Reigning champion Suva has progressed to the semifinals of the Extra Supermarket Futsal Inter-District Championship after overcoming Labasa in a tough Group A clash at the Vodafone Arena today.

The win secures the defending champions their second win in group play to see them advance, while giving Labasa their first loss.

Suva defender Filipe Baravilala scored first in the third minute with a beautiful power strike from near on mid court slipping past Labasa goalkeeper Ronal Kumar.

Into the midway of the first half, striker Vineet Nadan doubled the lead for the Capital City boys.

Babasiga Lions front man Ashnil Raju pushed for his side and soon after came away with a goal with five minutes left until halftime.

Labasa glimpsed a chance to equalise but all attempts were nullified when Baravilala managed to find a chink to score his double with two minutes to go.

Suva led 3-1 at halftime.

Labasa skipper Edwin Sahayam knocked a long-range goal just two minutes after the restart, waking up the Suva defence to set up an exciting finish.

The Northerners were hamstrung when number one goalkeeper Ronal Kumar was forced off with a knee injury with substitute stopper Prashant Prasad getting an early entry.

The match was filled with intensity as both sides tested each other and stern challenges in defence resulted in a number of fouls for both sides.

Labasa picked up the tempo with the time slipping away hunting for an equaliser to keep them in the hunt.

Their go-to-man Raju; kept Suva captain Shameet Kumar busy testing him time and time again.

Sahayam was given a yellow card after being too eager on defence.

Raju was also shown a yellow card for a headbutt as frustration was visible in the Labasa side with the clock ticking away.

Baravilala also got booked with a yellow for a silly foul.

Shahil Dave sealed the deal with a fourth goal for the defending champions.

The teams:

Suva– Shameet Kumar, Shahil Dave, Deepal Singh, Filipe Baravilala, Vineet Nadan Substitutions: Krishneel Shekar, Azariah Soromon, Kaliova Tivulu, Rajneel Singh, Suraj Chand, Akitesh Vishal Kumar, Krishneel Singh, Shivn Prasad.

Labasa– Ronal Kumar, Edwin Sahayam, Amen Prasad, Mohammed Zaid, Ashnil Raju Substitutions: Prashant Prasad, Devneet Prasad, Shahzaib Aziz, Shainal Lal, Rajiv Sharma, Sonal Prasad, Eparama Moraica, Shivam Shandil, Sumit Chand.

Noa Biudole
Noa Biudole
Journalist |


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