Replacement midfielder Nischal Lal netted an injury time winner as Tailevu Naitasiri posted a crucial 1-0 victory over Tavua in Round 11 of the Digicel Fiji Premier League at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori today.
Tavua led by former Fiji U20 striker Ratu Kaliova Dau and with the services of former Ba and national reps Malakai Tiwa and Manasa Nawakula, started the match well and launched some early attacks.
Tailevu Naitasiri on the other hand took a while to settle and goalkeeper Jason Rokovucake made some fine saves to keep the scores locked 0-0 at halftime.
Solomon Islander Carlos Liamosia threatened Tavua goalie Varinava with a couple of good attempts via free-kicks but was unable to find the target.
.Early in the second half, Tailevu Naitasiri’s Ravikash Krishna copped a yellow card for a foul play on Tavua’s Sakiusa Saqiri.
Tavua made two quick changes fielding Mohammed Mobeen and Abhishay Kumar in place of Saqiri and Sailasa Naicequ to add more cohesion to their midfield.
On the other hand, Naitasiri coach Priyant Mannu sent in young Altamish Khan, Prashant Chand and Rohil Ram to bolster their striker force and pulled out Sairusi Qiolevu, Rusiate Qio and France Catarogo.
Lal was introduced late in the match and the former Northland Tailevu attacker did not disappoint at all as he neatly placed the ball beyond the reach of Telawa after getting a neat feed from the left hand edge of the box.
Tailevu Naitasiri now has 13 points after 11 matches while Tavua sits at the bottom of the table with just 4 points.
Tavua: Varinava Telewa (GK), Manasa Nawakula, Tomasi Biutubu, Pauliasi Naitikibau, Malakai Tiwa, Sailasa Naicequ (Mohammed Mozeel Mobeen), Sakiusa Saqiri (Abhishay Kumar), Junior Balbir Singh, Ratu Dau (C), Amena Bolaitamana, Ratu Nalewadonu.
Reserves– Sitiveni Matalaba, Joeli Navalawa, John Ali, Diva Singh, Ritik Prakash.
Tailevu Naitasiri : Jason Rokovucake (GK), Asaeli Tunidau, Rusiate Qio (Prashant Chand), Martin Nasova, Ravikash Krishna, Frances Catarogo (Rohil Ram), Mosese Nabose, Carlos Liomasia, Abhishek Deo, Sikeli Tuiloma (C), Sairusi Qiolevu (Altamish Khan).
Reserves– Joji Naqaliva, Stephen Kwaitee, Mohammed Rasasa, Nischal Lal.